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Catholic Quarterly 



Bonum est homini ut eum Veritas vincat volentem, quia malum est homini ut eum Veritas 

vincat invitum. Nam ipsa vincat necesse est, sive negantem sive confitentem. 

S. Aug. Epist. ccxxxviii. ad Pascent. 


From January to October, 1889. 






Land and Labor in France and the United States. Bv Mar Her- 

nard O'Reilly, D.D., f l 

M. Claudio Jannet on social degeneracy in this country, 1 ; What M Druraont 
thinks of the same question in France, 2; Ancient land-holding in Ireland 3- 
Many small land-owners in France before the Revolution, 4 ; More large pro^ 
prietors now than then, 5 ; The working people have gained nothing by the Rev- 
olution, 6 ; The Church the only friend of the workingman in France 7- Catholic 
advocates of the rights of labor, 8 ; The evil influence of monopolists in France 9- 
Misdeeds of members of the Government, 10 ; Bringing financial ruin on their 
country, 11 ; Need of united action among all friends of religion, 12; Present need 
of applying mediseval social principles, 13; An admirable plan in practical appli- 
cation at Anzin, 14; Carrying out F. le Play's principles, 15; M. Jannet's latest 
observations on the United states, 17 ; Recent changes in our agricultural condi- 
tion, 18 ; Causes of these changes, 19 ; The money power as a peril in this country, 
20 ; The Knights of Labor, 21 ; The kind of workingmen's societies needed in this 
country, 22. 

Savonarola. By Rev. R. Parsons, D.D 23 

How the eloquent Dominican was brought into prominence, 23 ; Evil influence 
of the Renaissance in Italy, 24; Popularity turned Savonarola's head, 25 ; Carry- 
ing politics into the pulpit, 26 ; The would-be reformer on his own labors, 27 ; Sa- 
vonarola and Pope Alexander VI., 28 ; The preacher's temporary retirement 
placed him at a great disadvantage, 29 ; A disciple's rashness brought both to ruiu. 
30 ; An ordeal that miscarried caused Savonarola's fall, 32 ; Trial of himself and 
two colleagues, 33 ; Condemnation and sentence, 34 ; Reflections on Savonarola's 
character, 85 ; He was no precursor of the "Reformation," 36 ; Why his sermons 
were placed on the Index, 38; Analysis of some of his productions, 39 ; CantO's es- 
timate of - avonarola, 41 ; What Philip de Commines and other contemporaries 
thought of him, 42. 

Scripture Poetry. By Rev. Anthony J. Maas, S.J., ........ 44 

Relation of the Hebrew poems to the sacred text, 44 ; Technical structure of He- 
brew poetry, 45 ; Examples of the different kinds of parallelisms, 46 ; The natural 
stanzas of Hebrew poetry, 48 ; Signs of artistic design, 49 ; In what Hebrew rhythm 
consists, 50 , Relation of sound-unit to rhythm, 51 ; Facts indicating the existence 
of Hebrew metre, 52 ; Vocal elements not the true unit of sound-rhythm, 53 ; Syl- 
labic quantity must be discarded, 54 ; The mooted systems allow too many licenses, 
55 ; Canons of Syriac metre, 56 ; A few instances in illustration, 57 ; All the diffi- 
culties of Hebrew poetry have not been overcome, 59. 

LuLwoRTH Chapel, Bishop Carroll, and Bishop Walmesley. By 

Rev. Thomas L. Kelly, 60 

The certificate of Bishop Carroll's consecration, 60; How the Bishop-elect was 
invited to Lulworth, 61 ; Preparing for the consecration ceremonies, 62 ; Descrip- 
tion and history of Lulworth Chapel, 63 ; Biographical ^etch of Bishop Walmesle>% 
64 ; His long episcopal career and literary and scientific labors, 6o ; ' Pastorini s 
"History of the Church," 67; Trouble caused by the " Protestation 'of Charles 
Butler and others, 68; The Bishops condemn the " Protestation Oath, /O; 
Close of Bishop Walmesley's long career, 71 ; Sketches of the priests who assisted at 
Bishop Carroll's consecration, 71. 

The Last Four Years in Belgium. By John A. Mooney, 73 

Sketch of political parties in Belgium 73; Reaction caused by the "^^^^ 
tyranny of 1879, 74 ; Undoing the mischief in 1884, 7d ; " Liberal .^gi^tion agai^nst 
the latest school law, 76 ; Breaking off and restoring relations with the Holy bee 
77 ; Financial reform by the Catholic min stry, 78 ; Giving he P««P\e » »»^^.er 
voice in their own government, 79; Extension of the franchise. 80 .Attempts to 
reoSaSze the Radical Liberal party, 82 ; They produce riot, incendiarism, etc., 
S7?oUt?calsfde of strikes in BeTgiu^, 84 ; The ^'^tholic government's hon^^^ 
terest in the working classes, 86 ; The evil of alcoholism in Bel|"im 8/ . But tree 
love is even more hurtful to society, 88; Other elements ^^ «««\f ^^^^JJi^^'f^^^ 
89 ; Making provision against external enemies also, 90 ; nterest f B«'|'*" J^^'^^ 
for lovers of liberty, 91; Catholics should not pin their faith to any party or 
country, 93. 

BosTONiAN Ignorance of Catholic Doctrine. By John GUma^-y Shea,^ 

The'tre'atment of Catholics m this country i« ^^l^i^^^h'otifhkJt'eJS 
doctrine misrepresented in the public schools, 9oJJ hat Catho^ 
an indulgence to mean, 96 ; A social and religious transformation g^^^ o 
Englandr97 ; Characteristics of Protestanism, 98 ; Statistics of Catholic grow 


ly Table of Contents. 


New Ensland, 99 ; How the change might look to the Puritan Fathers 100 ; Sur- 
vival of anti Catholic prejudice in New England, 101 ; Rapid decline of Congrega- 
tionalism, 102. 

Progress and Significance of the Parnell Commission. By John 

Boyle aRdlly, LL.D., 103 

The O'Donnell libel suit and the famous Parnell letter, 103; Mr. Parnell's public 
disclaimer 104 • Origin and intent of the I'arnell commission, 105 ; A packed and 
SSrtHbunaUOe; Mr. Parnell's libel suit, 107 ; The Parnell Defence Fund, 
108 ■ The Commission showing steadfast partisanship against the Irish party ,109 ; 
The Times producing only the testimony of vile informers, 110; A ludicrous inci- 
dent 111 • The Molloy hoax, 112 ; Two precious l.Hmefi' witnesses, 113 ; During the 
trial'coercion becomes severer in Ireland, 114 ; At its highest point with the open- 
ing of the year 1889, 115 ; Mr. Parnell on the first period of the commission pro- 
ceedings, 116. 

The Year 1888— A Retrospect and a Prospect. By A. de G., . . 117 
Fvents influencing the inner life of civilization, 117 ; The Papal Jubilee easily 
takes the lead 118 ; The great lesson it has taught, 119 ; Momentous events of the 
year in Germany, 120 ; The young emperor's visit to the Pope, 121 ; Brief reflec- 
tions upon Austria's past, 122; Events in Russia, the United States and other 
countries 123; The modern economic system, 124; What underlies the labor and 
other questions, 125 ; The sham and the real social reformers, 126 ; The Pope com- 
pels praise from his natural enemies, 127 ; The best preventive of social revolu- 
tion, 128. 

The Canadian Separate School System. By 1). A. 0' Sullivan, LL.D. 

(Laval), 129 

Advantages of a denominational over a State school system, 129 ; Parental and 
religious rights in education, 130 ; History of the denominational system in 
Canada, 131 ; Statistics and plan of separate schools in western Canada, 133 ; How 
the school monies are divided, 134 ; Progress of the Catholic separate schools for 
ten years, 135 ; Practically the system extends only to elementary schools, 136 ; 
But little supervision exercised by the educational department, 137. 

The So-(;^alled Problem of Evil— A Protest. By Rev. M. A. Power, S.J., 140 
How to meet a youth with difficulties, 140 ; Solving the insoluble, 141 ; Great 
minds on the evil problem, 142 ; The modern poet, the psalmist, and common 
sense, 143; The modern spirit and the language of problems, 144 ; Out of touch 
with the modern spirit, 143 ; Mistaking verbal jugglery for logic, 144 ; The modern 
mind ill-fitted for philosophical problems, 145 ; Do moderners excel in reasoning 
powers? 146 ; The process that a sound critic is put through, 147 ; Importance of 
formihg critics for the protection of philosophy, 148 ; Modern philosophers are a 
gullible set, 149 ; As are the critics so are the books to be criticised, 150 ; Obscurity 
of modern philosophy, 151 ; Works that mark an epoch in philosophical expres- 
sion, 152. 

What the Languages OwETO the Catholic Church. By Brother Barbas, 153 
Why there is a close connection between the Church and language, 153; The 
Catholic Church's office of teacher, 154 ; This mission as voiced by St. Paul, 156 ; 
The sentiment of the Church teaching, 157 ; The Church ever engaged in improv- 
ing the languages, 158 ; What the English language owes to Catholic churchmen, 
159; Latin as an element in English, 161; Adapting speech to practical purpose, 
162 ; Learning in Europe during the Middle Ages, 163 ; Mediaeval learning the 
creation of the Catholic Church, 164; Why she prescribes limit to thought, 165; 
Effect of arts and sciences on language, 166 ; How the Church has influenced 
precision of language, 167 ; Influence of the fathers and doctors of the Church, 
168 ; The teaching of faith on the greatest of mysteries, 169 ; Analogy between the 
Divine mind and the human mind, 170 ; Philological vagaries of some modern 
writers, 171. 

Scientific Chronicle. By Rev. D. T. 0' Sullivan, S.J., .1 172 

The perfected phonograph, 172; Mars, 174 ; A new theory of spectrum analysis, 
176 ; The theory of electro-magnetism, 177. 

Myths and Lfx^jendsof the " Reformation." By Prof. Charles G. Herber- 

mann,Ph.D., ' 193 

Living interest in the history of Luther's movement, 193 ; Luther was bv no 
means the first translator of the Bible, 194 ; A vain attempt to rehabilitate Luther, 
196; The Bible in the Church before Luther, 197 ; Professor Brewer and others on 
the pre-" Reformation " clergy, 199 ; Trumped up charges against them, 201 ; How 
the " Reformation" was propagated, 203 ; Character of Luther's work in Germany, 
204; Preaching before Luther's time, 206; The "Reformation" fatal to learning ' 
and education, 207 ; Luther and the Bible, 208 ; His relation to the German lan- 
guage, 209 ; Not the father of congregational singing, 210 ; Luther as a hvmn com- 
poser, 211 ; The Church has no reason to fear impartial criticism, 212 ; The claims 
that historical science has on the attention of Catholics. 214 ; The duty of lay 
Catliolics in the field of history, 215. 

Table of Contents, 

^^^ YoTnT ^^^ ^^^^^^^/^^«^^^^«M. By Arthur F. Marshall, B.A, '''' 

bility. 218; Organs of the Low Clmrch facSs 2 5^ S^^^^^^ 
organs. 220; Religious liberalism among Sfsh P^USs '^^^ p.w^^ 
secular teaching in the journals to religious imnresSitl-"^^^^ ""^ 

of English journalism, 2^3 ; Suppression o^triuh^fn partV journahsm'^J^ 
journals are the slaves of advertisers, 225- Interest of cpn^infm,'.^!.-' ?^?* 
skepticism, 227; What may be expected in the future 228. Journalists In 

A New Biographer OF Our Lord. By J. L Rodriguez 229 

Description of Gen. Lew Wallace's latest book. 229 • Interestini? nlnn n*f ti,'« J^-i' 
230 ; It is a contradiction of its own purposes. 23ilAtachment5 Chrlt iSfau^ of 
. His human nature, 232; The author's ignorance of the proper amhoriUes^M- 
Legends of the evangelic times, 234; Stories more edifying and iiXicth-eth?n 
those chosen by our author 235 ; Absurdity of some of Ms conclusions 236 The 
general tradition as. to St. Joseph 237 ; Assertions unsupported by evidence '^^ 
Schools m the East in the time of our Lord, 239 ; Treatment of the «' Findfnc in 
the Temple," 241 ; Pity due to some dabblers in Christian teaching! 242. ^ 

Protestantism and Art. By Peter L. Foy 243 

Result of the inventions and discoveries of the 15th century ''43 • Effects of the 
fall of Constantinople, 244 ; Miniature painting the only exception to the rule of 
progress, 245 ;• The golden age of Christian art, 246; The Sistine chapel as an 
artistic glory, 24/ ; Hurtfulness of the " Reformation" to religious art 248 • Rela- 
tion of art works to religious devotion, 249 ; Protestant vandalism in houses of 
worship, 250 ; Specific account of the wreck and ruin, 251 ; The ruin accorapanv- 
ing the religious change in England, 252 ; Why the England of to-day is not an 
artistic country, 2o4 ; Ruin marking the progress of the Calvinists, 255 ; The " Re- 
formation " more radical and destructive on the continent, 256 ; Its ravages in the 
Netherlands, 257 ; Motley's picture of the havoc, 258 ; What happened in Switzer- 
land, France and Scotland, 259; Even Catholic countries felt the force of the 
ravage. 260 ; The Cromwellian desolation in Ireland, 261 ; How Rome felt the 
force of the movement, 262 ; The religious wars and dynastic struggles of Europe, 
263; The iconoclasm not confined to outward things, 264 ; Unexampled sterility 
of the '-Reformation" on the side of art, 2p5; Protestantism contrasted with 
Buddhism, 266 ; The various forms in which Protestantism entered Italy, 267. 


Concilio, B.I) '...... 2fi8 

The general tendency of Mrs. Ward's book, 268; Character of the personages iu- 
troduced, 269 ; Superciliousness of Rationalists in treating of Christian evidences, 
270 ; Perhaps the author intended to make an argument ex al)surdii>, 271 ; A discus- 
sion of Christian testimony, '272 ; An untenable philosophical position, 273 ; Infal- 
lible rules for two necessary conditions of argument, '274 ; Credulity of human 
testimony, 275; A method of argument that claims a monopoly of knowledge, 276; 
Its rules 'easily open to question. 277; Condition of the intellectual world when 
Christianity appeared. 278 ; Miracles and experience, 280 ; Eyidence in favor of 
Christ's resurrection, 281 ; Again the probability of an argument ex (ibmrdo, 282. 

The Papacy as an International Tribunal. By Mgr. Bernard 

O'Eeilly, BD., 283 

What it costs the European countries to maintain their armies, 283 ; A great 
work on the peace problem, 284; America's experience of the folly of war, 285; 
Temporary expedients against it, 286 ; Truths that every legislator should lay to 
heart, 287'; Arbitration as a remedv, 288; its relation to international law, 289; 
Men who " builded better than they knew," 290 ; The present Pope's efforts in 
the direction of peace, '291 ; The Canadian difficulty, 292 ; The Carofinas incident, 
293 ; Need of a school of international law in Rome, 294: Can we have an inter- 
national tribunal, 295 ; Trespasses against the law of nations, '296; Necessity of a 
mediator demonstrated, 297 ; Lessons from antiquity, 298; And from the Middle 
Ages, '299; Evil results of religious schism, 300 ; Testimony adduced by Chateau- 
briand, 301 ; An idea that may bear fruit in the not distant future, 302. 

O'Connell's Correspondence. By John MacCarthy, 303 

The pleasure of reading Mr. Fitzpatrick's book, 303 ; O'Connell's idea of the 
people. 804 The contrast between O'Connell and ParnelL 3«5; /f «>;¥ f t^ |J"«"y 
to O'Connell's towering prominence, 306 ; A man reveals himself best in his letters, 
307 O'Connell's experience of the French Revolution, 30S; The key-note of his 

, SrepoiSlca?ee^r%09;BeginningofthemoyementforC^^^^^^^ 

310- O'Connell as a fighter, 311; The opposition to emancipation, 312. Ihe veto 
difficultv.Ss; Eishol Milner's noble^, 314; enmn^p^iy out of 
the heart of the Government, 315; The Clare election, 316 Jhe to take 

thp Tpsr Oath ;^17- The crowning point m Connell s career, di5, ine '""X "/ 
E^^TaTidhfr'lfSing IrliaX rightl 319; The Orange faction in Ireland incorri- 
gible, 320 ; The cloud that hung over O'Connell's last days, 321. 

The Jesuit Estates in Canada. By John Odmary Shea, LL.D., . . • 322 

Rights guaranteed by the original cession to ^nf and 322 f^^P^^.^^^^^^^^^^ 
the Jesuits at that time, 323 ; The Q^^?bec Ag and other measu^^^^ 
estates. Father Casot and Bishop Kri^nd, .T2o ; What happen^^^ 
death, 326 ; Claim of the Church to the old Jesuit College oi yueoec, 6., , v. 

yi Table of Centents, 

tablishment of the Society of Jesus. 328 ; A division of opinion among Catholics 
al weKs PrStestants, 329f Pushing the case to a settlement in Quebec 330 ; An 
old caliunny revived and refuted, 331; Vain attempts to prevent separation, 332; 
Removing an old landmark, 333. 
Triple Order of Science— Physics, Metaphysics and Faith. By Rtv. 

W. Poland, S.J., 334 

The part that physics plays, 334 ; Hypothetical geology 335 ; The theory of evo- 
lution, 336 ; Plat^ smiled at by modern scientists, 337 ; The " Scientists " of the 
hiffher knowledge, 338; Their arrogance illustrated, 339 ; The value of a code of 
laws for the pursuit of truth, 340 ; An apt quotation from Sir J. W. Dawson, 341. 

Notes of a Catholic Tourist in Central Europe. By Prof. St. George 

Mivart, F.R.S., 342 

From London to Basle, 342 ; Berne and Interlaken, 343 ; Unterwalden and its 
republican saint, 344 ; On the way to Andermatt, 34.) ; The Capuchins at home. 
346- Religious services described, 347 ; Einsiedeln and its sights, 348; Zurich and 
Ccm'stance, 349 : From Bregenz to Lindau, 351 ; Incidents in Bavaria's eapiial, oo2 ; 
Religious life in Munich, 353 ; Visiting Salzburg, Augsburg and other places, 354 ; 
At Ulm, 355 ; Stuttgart and Cologne, 356 ; Striking features of the Rome of the 
Rhine, 357. 
The Objectivity of Human Knowledge. By Rev. William A. Fletcher, . 358 

Errors arising from ignorance of man's nature, 358 ; Objective evidence mani- 
festing itself subjectively, 359 ; The subjective supposes the objective order, 360 ; 
Havoc of false teaching in the sphere of morality, 361 ; Weight of proof for the 
objective character of our knowledge, 363. 
Scientific Chronicle. By Eev. D. T. C SuUivan, S.J., 364 

Cobalt, nickel, and their new associate, 364 ; Electric railroads, 365 ; Aluminium 
and the Heroult process, 369 ; Bellite, 370. 

Catholicity and Human Rights. By Rev. Alfred Yomig, C.S.P., . . . 387 
Complaint of the Church against her opponents, 387 ; The question of God at 
the bottom of all questions, 388 ; Man could not originate the idea of authority, 
389 ; Man's departure from the original revelation, 390 ; Human nature and civili- 
zation, ;S91; The best human civilization bears the seeds of decay, 392; Would-be 
regenerators come to grief, 393 ; Proudhon's blasphemies, 394 ; The just deserts of 
modern revolters, 395 ; To affirm a truth requires an act of self-denial. 396 ; Exi)lana- 
tion of the prevailing taste for the absurd, 397 ; The issue is between the su- 
premacy of the Divine and the human word, 398; How the Church stands to the 
world, 399; The deductions of reason and the language of mankind, 400 ; Huniau 
tyranny and Divine authority, 401 ; Arrogance bred in mankind by original sin, 
402 ; Influence of doctrine on the social condition of nations, 403 ; On what the 
Church's infallibility depends, 404 ; Idolatry of the intellect breeds illogical reason- 
ing, 405; Humility a characteristic of Catholic scholars, 406; Why the princes of 
modern science are envious of God's authority, 407 ; The strongest proof in favor 
of the Church, 408 ; The Cross has conquered and will ever conquer, 409. 

The Popes of the Renaissance and their Latest Historians. By 

John A. Mooney, 410 

The various historians of the Popes, 410 ; The modern revival of historical stud- 
ies, 411; Insularity of modern English historians, 412; Creighton's "History of 
the Papacy '' but a superficial work, 413 ; Lord Acton's estimate of the work, 414 ; 
Defects ol the "Introduction," 415; Its two chief critics compared, 416; How 
Pastor differs from both Ranke and Creighton, 417; Kanke's self-conceit and pre- 
judice, 418; In Pastor the man gives way to the historian, 419 ; Character of his 
"Introduction," 420; The " Renaissance" period a favorite study of late, 421 ; 
The bad use made of its new learning, 423 ; The liberty of the Church identical 
with the freedom of mankind, 424 ; Character of the Avignon Popes, 425 ; Begin- 
ning of the Great Schism of the West, 426 : The world of that time was a queer one, 
427 : Rome without the Popes, 428; Nicholas V. made Rome the centre of Chris- 
tendom, 429 ; Value of a knowledge of diplomacy to the historian, 430 ; Opposition 
of the Popes to Islamism and to absolutism in rulers, 431 ; History writing has 
been unjust to the Church, 432; Are we to have a learned school of Catholic 
American historians ? 433. 

Abelard. By Rev. R. Parsons, D.D., 434 

In what respect Abelard is best known, 434 ; How he became the captive of He- 
loise, 435 ; Their marriage, 436; How Abelard became a monk and was unhappy, 
437 ; Made Abbot of St. Gildas de Ruys, 4;^8 ; Sickening sentimentality about Abe- 
lard and Heloise, 439: The letters attributed to her not genuine, 440 ; Abelard's 
errors of doctrine, 442 ; St. Bernard's interest in his behalf, 443 ; Abelard's errors 
condemned by the Pope, 444 ; Summary of these errors, 445 ; Were they ascribed 
to him through ignorance, 446 ; Unjustly stigmatized as a heretic, 447. 

Prof. Max Muller on Language and Thought. By Rev. Anthony J. 

Maas, S.J., * 449 

The three principles of the theory of " The Science of Thought," 449 ; The limi- 
tations with which Prof. Miiller's theory is proposed, 450 ; Relation of language to 
thought, 451; Logical grounds taken by those who oppose him, 452; Various 
positions he has taken at different periods, 453 ; Taking liberties with both lan- 
guage and logic, 454 ; The new theory not yet perfected by its author, 455 ; The 
professor indulges in both gossipy and more weighty vagaries, 456 ; Complaining 
of Kant being now neglected, 457; Prof. Muller and the schoolmen, 4.58 ; Tradition- 
alism, 4o9; What scholastic philosophy will concede to the professor, 461. 

Table of Contents, 


The Church of the Attakapas— 1750-1889. By 3f. ^. a, . ^'l^o 

Memories. awakened by Pere Jan's death 462 • Thp firvit wV^itJ J.\ ' ' ' . * 
Attakapas, '4m; Belle Isle's romantic Sv 464- How^l J a. f T^" ^""""^ **^e 
verted from cannibalism, 466; The sSryo7the Acadian ?xilP«4(-''^^^^ ''m^ ^^»; 
New Orleans at that time, 468 ; The Acadi^ans in foSana 46^ IV vrH^^'^V,.^' 
470; Character of the Acadian colony in iruiSana 47^" lip^ Murtinsville. 
registers, 472 ; The first bishop in Lo^4;?na'4"/3Trnd' Je fir^s^atThe •• Pos'e"S 
Attakapas, ' 474 ; Louisiana barren of vocations to the priesthood 476 Fathpr 
Isabey's mission, 477; His immediate successors 478- Sketch nfTwio\;. ."^ 
life, 479 ; At Nantes, 480 ; Affiliated to the Spists and then bron^^^^ fr^'m^^''^ 
by Arclibishop Blanc. 481 ; His life at St. Mart^Ssvillt^82 ; LoneH^^^^^^ 
years, 483 ; The Poetry and r9mance of the Attakap^ countryr484 QuietuKf 
bt. Martinsville, 485 ; Its reminders of Evangeline, 486. " ^>^°*' viuieiuae of 

The Conversion of the Northmen. By Richard H. Clarke, LL.D., . 487 
Rome Iceland, and the Norse Church in America, 487; Origin'and earlv tI 
hgion of the Northmen, 489 ; Their principal gods, 490 Their hereditary fatoUsm 
491; How the Scandinavian gods were worshipped, 492; Practical effect of Xe 
religion of the Northmen upon their character and conduct, 493 Difficulties in 
the way of their conversion to Christianity, 496; Relation of the Roman Pontiff" 
to the northern converts 49. ; 'Ihe part taken by the early Christian kings in thi 
historic progress of the Church, 498 ; St. Ausgar, the Great Apostle of the Nnrth 
499 ; Introduction of Christianity into Norway, 500 ; Character of Kine « »laf anfi 
his methods, 501 ; Conversion of the Icelanders, 503; Career and end of Kins "t 
Olaf of Norway, 504. * "• 



Professor Fisher on " Unsectarianism " in the Common Schools. 
By Brother Barbas, ] 

Professor Fisher's criticism of Cardinal Manning, 505 ; Denominational educa- 
tion an old American principle, 506 ; The Cardinal's nationality has nothing to do 
with his logic, 507; Undenominationalism is only a new religion, 508- Professor 
Fisher's statements abound in contradictions, 509; How he would stand in ref- 
erence to the Declaration of Independence, 510 ; Family rights take precedence of 
those of the State, 511 ; The moral right of the clergy, 512: The principle of no 
taxation without representation, 513 ; Desperate bolstering up of a limping cause 
514 ; A clap-trap appeal to politicians, 515. ' 

The Anglican Bishop of Lincoln. By Arthur F. Marshall, B A. (Oxon.), 516 
Absurdity of the recent trial of the Bishop of Lincoln, 516 ; What the Church of 
England was in 1839, 517 ; Almost the only Protestant heresy there is, 518 ; Was the 
Anglican Church of 1839 the same as that of 1889/ 519; The line the Bishop of Lin- 
coln has taken, 520 ; Tenableness of his position, 521 ; The real importance of the 
trial, 522; Views expressed in newspapers, 523 ; Relation of the case to Ritualism 
and Low Churchism, 525; What would happen in case the Bishop were con- 
demned, 526 ; His case may lead many to the Catholic Church, 527 ; The question 
of a living Divine authority, 528 ; A reductio ad abmrdum, 529 ; A trial that would 
have been impossible fifty years ago, 530; The pith of the case, 532. 

Jansenists, Old Catholics, and Their Friends in America. By John 

Gilmary IShea, LL.D., 533 

Sketch of the Jansenist Church of Utrecht, 533; Relation to it of religious dis- 
turbances in America, 534 ; A recent farcical imitation of it in the West, 535 ; The 
romantic story of Ren6 Vilatte, 536 ; Bishop Brown's lack of truth and honesty, 
537 ; Some curious prayer books, 538 ; Their contradictory teaching, 539; Difficul- 
ties of the Green Bay mission, 540 ; Why Vilatte's case is a peculiar one, 511. 

The Forthcoming Catholic Congress. By Peter L. Foy, ...... 542 

Origin of the scheme of holding the Congress, 542 ; The plan of organization and 
programme for it, 543 ; Why it should discuss the actual position of the Papacy, 
544 ; Influence of the voice of such a gathering, 545; Why the memory of historic 
Italy is cherished by Catholics, 546 ; Bad effects of preserving some national traits, 
547 ; The principle of nationality acting as a solvent, 548; The Papacy as a de- 
fender of Italy, 549 ; The most interesting work set for the Congress, 550 ; Second- 
ary causes of the Church's growth in America, 551. 

Scientific Chronicle. By Rev. D. T. 0' Sullivan, S.J., 552 

Photography, 552 ; Forests and rainfall, 556 ; Origin of petroleum, 559. 

The Struggle for Christian Schools in France. By Mgr. Bernard 
aReilly, D.D., 

Opposing views of Guizot and Jules Ferry on education, 577; Count de Mun's 
retort to F^rry, 578 ; The outlook for Christian education m France 0^9; Origin 
of the present struggle for the schools, 580 ; Class legislation aganist the religious 
oders,^82f Close of the Jesuit and other schools, 583 ; Unavailing protests of ^ 
Catholics 585 • Efforts to gain control of the elementary schools, o8o ,• Conipletel.\ 
?ei?raUzingcont?ol^ schools. 587 ; Stunning «KV^%" An^7er\^^^^^^ 

588 ; M. de Mun's refutation, 591 ; Ferry as a whipped c"f'f„^.; j^" «y."\/;^\7'^ 
outburst of eloquence, 593 ; Clinching the Z^'''^%'^^'''^'^t^^^^^Mr: ?96 '• The crMs 
betta put out of the way, 595; An intolerable radical dictatorship, 59b , Ihe crisis 
in France is of supreme giavity, 597. 


viii Table of Contents, 


The First Christian Northmen in America. By Richard H. Clarice, LL.D., 698 
When Greenland was discovered. 598; Bull of Pope Gregory IV., 599; The Bol- 
landists on the document, 601 ; Jurisdiction of St. Ansgar, 602 ; The fir^t vestige 
of Christianity in the western hemisphere, 603 ; The tirst Christian in the New 
World, 604 ; Leif Ericson's voyages, 60.3; The first Catholic church erected oft this 
continent, 606; This followed by many others, 607; The history of Gudrid, 608; 
An incident of the time when Christianity was yet new in Greenland, 609 ; A 
ghost story, 611 : The later history of Gudrid, 613 ; A passage characteristic of the 
national sentiment of the Northmen, 614 ; Some descendants of the first native 
American Christian, 615. 

The Holy See AND THE Gentiles. By M. T. Allies, ........ 616 

The present tendency towards original research, 616; Mr. Allies on the old and 
the new Rome, 617 ; Byzantium's jealously of the ancient capital, 618 ; Unsatisfied 
ambition developing into schism, 619 ; Creative power of the J'opes in old Rome, 
-620 ; The miracle of Rome converting the barbarians, 621 ; Capital importance of 
Mr. Allies' latest work, 623. 

The Uniat Catholics in Kussia. By Bryan J. Clinch, 624 

Peculiar character of the Catholic Church in ancient Poland, 624 ; The Uniats 
then more numerous than their Latin brethren, 625 ; Russian iniquity in the par- 
tition of Poland, 626 ; Toleration under the Emperors Paul and Alexander I., 627 ; 
The Catholic college of St. Petersburg, 628 ; Siemasko's Machiavellian perfidy, 
629 ; How he went about his ruinous work, 630 ; Official " union " of the Uniats 
with the Russian state Church, 631 ; Enforcing attendance at schismatic worship, 
632 ; Fate of the priests who refused to change their faith, 633 ; Heart-rending story 
of suffering by the nuns of Minsk, 634; Sister Macrina's own story, 635 ; Fidelity 
of the masses of the Uniats, 637. 

Relation of the Church to Human Progress. By Eev. H. A. Brann, D.D., 639 
Proud position of the Catholic Church in this country, 639 ; The question here 
is of the human side of the Church, 640 ; She is at least as free from scandals now 
as at any period of her history, 641 ; Comparison with the early Middle Ages, 642; 
And with the 11th and 12th centuries, 643 ; During the " Reformation " period, 
644 ; Scandals were then even worse in Italy than elsewhere, 645 ; Particular 
instances of depravity in various countries, 646 ; Deplorable pictures drawn by 
Catholic historians, 647 ; The Church now comparatively free from the evils of 
former times, 648; Causes of the improvement in the external life of the Church, 
649 : Change in the mode of training the clergy, 650 ; Good results of the destruc- 
tion of feudal patronage, 651 ; We should be thankful for the present condition, 

The Relativity of our Knowledge. By Reo. F. H. Nash, 653 

Why our knowledge cannot be merely subjective or relative, 653 ; The theory of 
relativity is a gratuitous assumption, 654 ; Contradictions of the theories of modern 
philosophers, 655 ; Why our knowledge is altogether objective, 656 ; Representa- 
tion and the testimony of the senses, 657 ; The soundest theory of knowledge, 658 ; 
Absurdity of the expression, " relativity of knowledge," 659. 

Mont Saint Michel— Church, Abbey and Fortress. By M. A. J., . . 660 

Simplicity, truth and power are the higher architectural virtues, 660 ; Modern 
representations of the olden monuments, 661 ; Thoughts awakened by Mont Saint 
Michel— its origin, 662 ; Saint Aubert and King Childebert II., 663 ; The Archangel 
Michael honored among the Normans, 664 ; Various royal visitors to the Mount, 
665; How Mont St. Michel fared in the Middle Ages, 666 ; More than once a victim 
of the elements, 667 ; Labors and disappointments of the monks, 669; And it suf- 
fered from siege, too, 670; The monastery turned into a prison, 671 ; Changes in 
the architectural details of the buildings, 672 ; " La Merveille," a name well de- 
served, 673 ; The largest, if not the grandest, Gothic room in the world, 675 • A cen- 
tury flooded with a holy light, 676 ; The Philistine's of to-day, 677 ; The traditions of 
the monks cannot be wholly lost, 678. 

Will THE Pope Leave Rome ? By Arthur F. 31arshall, B.A. (Oxon.), . . 679 
Why the Pope's enemies wish he would leave Rome, 679 ; The Christian Rome 
and the city ol God, 680 ; The lesson of eighteen centuries of Catholic belief 681 • 
Divine authority is a fact, not a dream, 682 ; The conflicts of the world with 'pon- 
tifical Rome. 683 : The Pope's person and office divinely associated with the Holy 
See, 684 ; Recognition of the Pope by modern powers, 685 ; The Pope as an arbi- 
trator between the nations, 688 ; Rome the centre of stability, from the very nature 
of things, 69<J. 

The Columbus Centenary op 1892. By John GUmary Shea, LL.D., . . 691 
Columbus' preparation for his great exploit, 691 ; Relics of him should be prom- 
inent at the coming exposition, 692 ; The Catholic Church should have a special 
exhibit, 693 ; Memories of Catholic pioneers in the United States, 694 ; Some of the 
more Illustrious explorers, 695 ; Where personal relics of Columbus may be ob- 
tained, 696; 1 he earliest books on America, 697; There should be an exhibit of 
educational and eleemosynary institutions, 698 ; How to make the exposition a 
success, 699 ; I he duty that Catholics owe to themselves in this case, 700. 

The Faculty of the Catholic University. . By Prof. Charles G. Herher- 
mann, Ph.D 

The material success of the University has been brilliant, 701 ; The faculty and 
the chance lor, /02; The rector and the vice-rector, 703 ; The professor of dog- 
matic theology, /W ; Of Biblical science, 705 ; Of English literature, 706 • The 


Table of Contents, ix 


director of discipline, 707 ; The department of philosophy, 708 ; The chair of 
canon law, 709 ; Of mbral theology, 710 ; Lecturer on Church history, 711 ; And on 
astronomy and physics, 712; The views that guided the trustees in making their 
selections, 713 ; European scholars in our great schools, 714 ; A faculty of whose 
scholarship and Americanism we may well feel proud, 715. 

Giordano Bruno. By John A. Mooney, 716 

Materials for a life of Bruno, 716 ; His early life until his ordination, 717 ; Giving 
trouble as a Dominican, he becomes a wanderer, 718 ; Among the "Saints" of 
Geneva, 719 ; Something that looks like monumental lying, 720 ; Our hero's queer 
pranks in Paris, 721 ; Characteristic self-laudation, 722 ; Personifying presumption 
itself, 723 ; An affected Copernican and a worse than heretic, 724 ; A brief term at 
Oxford, and again at Paris, 725 ; Giordano at this time was anything but a Chris- 
tian, 726 ; One whose talent was to feign, 727 ; Excommunicated by the Lutheran 
Church, 728 ; Arrest and trial at Venice, 729 ; Summary of Bruno's strange opinions 
on religion and morals, 730 ; A " philosophical heretic and religious hypocrite," 
731 ; Transferred to Rome, and his treatment there, 732 ; He was treated even as 
his own logic dictated, 733 ; In spite of his mental abilities and moral qualities, 
he was unknown among his contemporaries, 734 ; They are only fools who honor 
him, 735 ; A second-hand excubitator of worn-out theories, 736 ; A monument that 
is a sign of shame to the Christian world, 737. 

In Memoriam— Monsignor Corcoran. By Et. Rev. John J. Keane, D.D., 738 
Those who lament Mgr. Corcoran's death and have the best reason to do so, 738 ; 
As editor of this Review his loss is most heavily felt, 739 ; Extent of his knowl- 
edge and his power of expression. 740; Comparison of his character with that of 
Dr Brownson, 741 ; The Holy Scriptures was his study of predilection. 742 ; Excep- 
tionallv well-equipped for the work of a reviewer, 743 ; His was a character natur- 
ally incapable of human respect, 744 ; Writings of his that give us a delightful in- 
sight of his nature, 745 ; The motive and inspiration of his life, 746 ; His name and 
fame should be an inspiration to every young ecclesiastic, 747. 

Scientific Chronicle. By Rev. D T. 0' Sullivan, SJ., 748 

The Weems Electric Railway, 748; National Electric Light Association, 749 ; Im- 
proved system of cable telegraph, 751 ; Quartz fibres, 752 ; Minor notes— Central electric 
stations, the Eiffel tower, gnomium, 754 


American Commonweath (Bryce) 183 

American Ecclesiastical Review 192 

Ancient Rome (Lanciani) 379 

Apostleship of Prayer (RamiSre) 575 

Aroer ; The Story of a Vacation 192 

Authority (Rivington) 757 

Birth of the Republic (Goodloe) 762 

Book of Superiors (McMahon) 386 

Campion: A Tragedy (Longh aye) 576 

Castle, The, and the Manor (Winter) 576 

Catholic Claims (Richardson) 757 

Catholic Family Annual for 1890 (Illus- 
trated) 768 

Catholic Hierarchy Deposed by Queen 

Elizabeth (Bridgett and Knox) 760 

Catholic Worship (Gisler) 192 

Characteristics from Archbishop Ulla- 

thorne's Writings 192, 386 

Church History (Kurtz) 572, 768 

Constitutioues Catholicse Universitatis 

Americae 574 

Dependence (Rivington) 757 

Elements of Ecclesiastical Law (Smith), 565 
Explanation of the Constitution of the 

United States (Furey) 574, 767 

First Principles of Knowledge (Rickaby ) , 375 
Frederick, Crown Prince and Emperor 

(Rodd) 377 

From the World to the Cloister 192 

George Washington (Lodge) 762 

Germany's Debt to Ireland (Stang) 768 

God Knowable and Known (Ronayne).... 189 
Golden Words (A Kempis and Hamilton), 576 
Henry VIII. and the English Monasteries 

(Gasquet) 568 

History of Confession (Guillois and De 

Goesbriand) 384 

Institutiones Logicales (Pesch) 763 

Introductio in Corpus Juris Canonici 

(Laurin) 766 

Ireland, The Pope and (McCormiek) 574 

Kant's Critical Philosophy (Mahaffy and 

Bernard) 764 

Leaves from St. JohnChrysostom (Allies), 

192, 383 
Leaves from the Annals of the Sisters of 

Mercy 573 

Lectures on English Literature (Egan), 575 
Letters to Persons in Religion (St Francis 

de Sales) 192, 386 

Life and Glories of St. Joseph (Moreno 

and Thompson) 385 

Life and Writings of Bishop McMullen 

(McGovern) 385 

Life of Blessed Martin de Porres 192 

Life of Lady Georgiana Fullerton 192 

Life of St. Bonaventure (Skey) 768 

Life of St. Ignatius of Layola (Genelli), 19i 

Little Book of Superiors (McMahon) 386 

Liturgy for the Laity (O'Donnell) 384 

Lives of the Fathers (Farrar) 562 

Logic (Clarke) 375 

Lourdes (Clarke) 192 

Manual of Prayers 569 

Manuals of Catholic Philosophy (Stony- 
hurst Series) 375, 574 

Memoir of Rev. Francis A. Baker (Hewit), 386 

Miscellanies, Vol. III. (Manning) 190 

Modern Science in Bible Lands (Dawson) 765 

Moral Philosophy (Rickaby) 574 

Mores Catholici(Digby) 767 

Narrative and Critical History of America 

(Winsor) 179,372 

New Sunday-School Companion 381 

Old English Catholic Missions (Payne).... 573 
Papers of the American Society of Church 

History 571 

Parnell Movement (O'Connor) 765 

Records of the English Catholics of 1715 

(Payne) 192, 385 

Religious State, The (St. Liguori) 575 

Roman Hymnal (Young) 576 

Rudiments of Hebrew Grammar (Ga- 
briels) 382 

Sacred Heart Library (Dewey) 675 

Sermons at Mass (O'Keefe) 192 

Sermons of Padre Agostino da Montefel- 

tro 192 

Seven Thousand Words Often Mispro- 
nounced (Phyfe) 767 

Short Cut to the True Church (Hill) 765 

Short Instructions for Low Masses (Dona- 
hoe) 383 

Short Instructive Sketches from the Lives 

of the Saints 382 

Six Sermons on Devotion to the Sacred 

Heart 192 

Socialisme d'Etat et La R^forme Sociale 

(Jannet) 560 

St. Basil's Hymnal 575 

St. Gertrude Manual 576 

St. Patrick, the Father of a Sacred Nation 

(Loughlin) 384 

Sweet Thoughts of Jesus and Mary (Carre), 764 
Swiss Confederation (Adams and Cun- 
ningham) 759 

Testimony of Justin Martyr (Purves) 567 

The Holy Mass (St. Liguori) 576 

The New Sunday-School Companion 381 

Theologise Dograaticie Compendium 

(Hurter) 188 

Thomie d, Kempis de Imitatione Christi 

(Gerlach) 766 

Thoughts and Counsels for Young Men 

(Von Doss) 766 

True Spouse of Jesus Christ (St. Liguori), 185 

Wandering Knight, The (Carthenay) 381 

Ward, William George, and the Oxford 

Movement 755 


ol. XIV. 

JANUARY, 1889. ^^- S8. 



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VOL. XIV.— JANUARY, 1889.-No. 63. 


La Fin (Tun Monde ; par Edouard Drumont. 

Les Etats-Unis Contemporains ; par Claudio Jannet. 4th edition. 

La Reforme Sociale ; Bulletin de la Socifetfe d'Economie Sociale (Janu- 
ary to December, 1888). 

IN an admirable discourse delivered last summer before the united 
societies of Social Economy and Les Unions de la Paix So- 
ciale, M. Claudio Jannet summed up all the conclusions which 
he embodies in the last edition of his great book on the United 
States. A devoted and practical Catholic, an enlightened student 
and admirer of our country, M. Jannet is eminently fitted to pro- 
nounce on our institutions and our people, on our present social 
and economical condition, as well as on our future dangers and 
prospects, a judgment that should commend itself to American 
statesmen and publicists. 

" What is specially characteristic," he says, " of the situation of 
the United States is that, while the political situation has improved, 
the social question, on the contrary, has assumed a degree of in- 
tense acuteness greater even, if that be possible, than anything 
known in this old European world of ours. The inequality of con- 
ditions develops itself, step by step, in accordance with the pro- 
gress of American society. This is a law which all societies obey ; 
it is not in itself an evil ; it is a tact which we here record." 

VOL. XIV. — I 

2 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

We shall see, in the course of this article, with what a judicial, 
but still kindly, impartiality this eminent professor of political 
economy in the Catholic University of Paris points out the tvils 
and dangers arising from the present state of the land and labor 
question in our Republic, as well as the remedies and safeguards 
which Providence places within our reach. 

As to France — and what is said of France applies in a great 
measure to all continental Europe, — we may take the information 
furnished us by another eminent Catholic, a devoted and practical 
Catholic, who wields his pen and exposes his life with the chivalric 
fearlessness of the French crusaders of old. 

If M. Jannet, in his writings and his private life, might serve as 
a type of the old time magistrature of the best epoch, M. Dru- 
mont is no unworthy representative of his Breton forefathers, who 
fought in Palestine under Louis VII. and Louis IX., or followed 
George Cadoudal and his heroic Choiians. If his terrible pen 
spares no class, no living names in the cowardly, time-serving, 
mammon-worshiping, corrupt and corrupting French society of 
to-day, he only does what the patriotic Swiss Catholic did, what 
more than one of the old Crusaders had done, — seized a bundle 
of spears aimed at his fellow-soldiers by the foe, and pressed them 
into his own devoted breast. He hopes that others, more happy, 
will rush in after him through the breach thus opened in the 
enemy's ranks, and help save France from the hosts of Antichrist. 

Let us see, first, what the author of La Fin d'un Monde has to 
say about the social question, about land and labor in his own 
country. We shall then follow M. Jannet in his instructive 
analysis of our own social condition. 


How often have we heard from the lips of Catholic scholars, and 
read in works now classical, the statement that the French Revo- 
lution of 1789 conferred at least one unquestionable benefit on the 
French popular masses, — that of creating millions of small landed 
proprietors, instead of the few thousands of nobles who, before 
1 789-1793, held the soil of France as their inheritance! This sole 
benefit we have heard set off, in Ireland, a few years ago, as a com- 
pensation for much of the destruction wrought by the revolu- 
tionary convulsion in the ancient French monarchy. 

The fact is that the National Convention, in confiscating the 
property of the French landlord class, acted on the same principle 
on which James I., Charles I. and his unscrupulous minister, Went- 
worth, and the Long Parliament under the Commonwealth, acted 
in confiscating every foot of Irish soil and selling it to "adven- 
turers." Cromwell did for his soldiers what English kings and 

Land and Labor in France and the United States. 

parliaments had done before him,-divided the land of the Irish 
Cathohcs and Protestant loyalists among them, and drove beyoni 

The ancient Irish land-laws, either before St. Patrick or after 
him, never attributed to or acknowledged in the chiefs who bore 
the title of kings the nght to hold, singly or collectively, the 
whole soil of the island as their own. This was the claim of the 
feudal sovereigns, which essentially differed from the proprietary 
right which obtained in Ireland. 

There each tribe or clan held the territory, its patrimonial ter- 
ntory, as its own. The tribal chief, who was elective, as were the 
higher chieftains or kings, was allotted a certain portion of land 
for his own use. But of this he only had the use, not the owner- 
ship. He could no more barter it away, or hand it down as an 
heirloom to his sons or kinsfolk, than he could any other thing 
not his own. 

Hence the outcry raised, when the first Irish chieftains were in- 
duced to make their submission to Henry VIII., and to accept 
from him the titles of earls or barons, together with the investiture 
of their lands, which they were thenceforward to hold as fiefs from 
the sovereign. The people protested that the land was not the 
chief's to transfer to the king, or to hold from him. It was, they 
said, and truly said, the property of the whole clan, solely and in- 

And this protestation, which even English historians note as 
just and unanswerable, was again and again renewed, when the 
new earls and barons, growing weary of their vassalage, revolted, 
were attainted, and saw their lands escheated, or forfeited to the 
crown. Their people protested that the rebels might rightly lose 
their titles or their lives in punishment of their treason to the 
liege-lord they had chosen ; but that the attainder could not reach 
or affect the land, which never belonged to the rebels, and never 
could be forfeited by those who did not own it. 

We have made this statement to show that the ancient land-laws 
of Ireland essentially differed from those of England, from those 
of France and of most continental countries, where the feudal 
system prevailed. 

But, without at all entering into the right or wrong of the 
wholesale confiscation or "nationalization" of land, as decreed by 
the French Constituent Assembly and its successor, the 'National 
Convention, we must here meet, with a peremptory denial, the asser- 
tion, so confidently made and so universally believed, that the 
French Revolution created a large class of small farmer proprie- 

4 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

tors, who took the place of the former landed aristocracy, dispos- 
sessed from 1789 to 1792. 

Let us, on this most interesting question, hear what M. Dru- 
mont and the authorities he quotes have to say : 

" What is most astonishing," he writes, " is to see our middle- 
class Conservatives {Conservateiu^s bourgeois) shrugging their 
shoulders, and to hear their indignant outcries, when one presumes 
to discuss, in their presence, the principle of property, especially 
when one remembers that this French middle-class {bourgeoisie) are 
now living, in a great measure, on the fruits of the most monstrous, 
brutal, and bloody appropriation that the world has ever witnessed. 
These middle-class men, whom the very term of ' nationalization 
of the soil ' throws into a violent fit, forget that such a * nationali- 
zation ' has already taken place within the present century. Only, 
far from turning out to be profitable to the entire nation, — a result 
which never could have been an excuse for the horrible conditions 
under which it was effected — this ' nationalization ' benefited none 
but the middle class, a fact which should prevent them from utter- 
ing such loud protestations. 

" One hundred years have not yet passed by since we have seen 
applied to the whole of France the very theories which, as formu- 
lated by the Anarchists of our day, strike the most indulgent minds 
as something frightful. . . . 

" People have generally accepted, and I have myself believed as 
Gospel-truth, the formulated assertion, ' the Revolution gave back 
the land to the peasants.' 

" The assertion is an absolute falsehood, and socialistic writers, 
as well as official economists, at present agree in acknowledging 
its inaccuracy. * Letrosne informs us,' says Michelet, ' that when 
Turgot became minister, the one-fourth of the soil belonged to 
those who tilled it.' In our day, on the contrary, all statistics go 
to prove that the small farmers do not own one-eighth of the land 

" Of 14,000,000 of registered land-properties, 61 per cent., that is 
8,600,000, include only a total of 2,574,589 hectares (each hectare 
being over two acres) of taxable soil in a grand total of 49,338,304 
hectares, that is, only 5.19 per cent. ; whereas, the holdings of large 
proprietors owning fifty hectares and above, with 122,000 registered 
titles, comprise nearly 18,000,000 of hectares, or more than 35 per 
cent, of the national arable territory." 

Toubeau, in his Impbt inetrique, and the journal La Terre aux 
Pay sans {^■di\xx\(i^, editor, 1885), furnish us with the following table: 

^ See Chirac, La Prochaine Riwlution, and La Revue Socialiste oi February 15th, 

Land and Labor in France and the United States 

Lands not owned by those who till them: woods, forests, **"^**- 
waste lands, marshes, fallows, grazing lands and pas- 
turages, ... r 

T , .,, , , , , ' • • • • 10,000,000, 

Lands tilled on the half profit system 

Lands tilled by tenant-farmers, 

49,000 holdings of more than 100 hectares cultivated by 

farm-laborers, , . . ^^^.^^ 

, .' . 12,000,000. 

Houses, out-buildings, orchards, nurseries, gardens, . . 1,000,000. 


'' Total, 45,000,000 of hectares to be subtracted from 49,000,000 ; 
remainder for small farmer-proprietors, 4,000,000 of hectares! 

*' The share of this latter class is, therefore, less than one -ninth. 

" The truth is, as we are told by the authors of The Land Ques- 
tion, MM. R. Meyer and G. Ardant, that the French Revolution 
neither created small proprietors nor destroyed large landed pro- 
prietors. It only called forth from another social class men who 
bought up the old lordships or who built up with their money 
new and wide domains. To the territorial nobility succeeded the 
land-owning middle class [Bourgeoisie), The former was only in- 
vested with the dominium directum (the direct ownership, without 
the use of the soil) ; the latter enjoys, over and above this, the 
dominium utile. Moreover, the new proprietary class in France 
have added to the property once held by the ancient nobility a 
very large pprtion of the lands and tenements belonging to the 
Church corporations, and, during the century last past, they have 
still further increased their property by purchases from small far- 
mers. In the absence- of statistics, this fact is made evident by 
personal observation. 

'* So, then, the large-landed proprietary class possess more.* 

" The French Revolution has benefited some people, since, ac- 
cording to M. Fernand Maurice, the Rothschilds now own 200,000 
hectares (between 400,000 and 500,000 acres) of the lands of France, 
more than the nobles did a century ago ; and the title on which it 

1 The author of a deeply inteiesting volume, La Reforme agraire et la misere en 
France (" Land Reform and Poverty in France "), M. Fernand Maurice, refutes, in 
nearly the same terms, the legend of the lands having been given to the peasants by 
the Revolution: 

"Just as the land existed before 1789, just so do we find it a century thereafter. 
The petty farmer has kept hold of his cottage and of the garden attached to it ; this 
is the sum total of progress. The other 3,500,000 farm-laborers have not even gained 
the privilege to have a roof of their own, no matter how wretched. For it must not 
be forgotten that, alongside the 3,000,400 small proprietors of holdings of less than ten 
acres (5 hectares), who are mostly obliged to work for others, agriculture employs also 
3,500,000 laborers, real proletarians these, who have only their stout arms to wm 
bread for their families. . 1 • . j 

" This explains why the farm-laborers emigrate, why the soil remains uncultivated, 
and why, from 1831 to 1881, 6,000,000 of persons have forsaken the country for the 

6 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

is wrongfully held is more absolute and more simple than it had 
ever been since the Roman period."^ 

Passing to the use the bourgeoisie, or new landlord class in 
France, made of their power, M. Drumont says that they began by 
persuading the people, the laboring classes in town and country, 
that they, the people, it was who had done all that was wrong in 
the Revolution. 

"This was just as untrue," he says, "as was the legend of the 
land given back to the peasants by the Revolution. The men 
dressed in fish-women's clothes, whom Choderlos de Laclos, the 
agent of the Duke of Orleans, hurled against Versailles in October 
(1789), the men armed with pikes, .... the active sans- culottes 
who composed the Terrorist army, never counted more than 2000 
or 3000 persons in France ; and these were recruited from among 
men who had lost caste, or who were convicted malefactors, rather 
than from the ranks of the people. 

" Just when the Revolutionists were finally suppressing all cor- 
porations, the laboring classes made a formidable protestation 
against the act. On June loth, 1790, five thousand shoemakers 
met in the Champs Elysees ; and the carpenters grouped them- 
selves about the Archbishop's residence. The masons, slaters, and 
printers assembled at other places in the city. Bailly, Mayor of 
Paris, who was rightfully guillotined for having shot down the 
people when he was in power, and who excited the people to rebel 
when he was out of office, .... said to the assembled tradesmen : 
' As men, you possess every right, especially that of starving. . . . ' 
A combination of workingmen to obtain uniform wages, and to 
compel their fellow-workmen to accept the rate of wages thus 
fixed, would be a coalition injurious to their own interests. It 
would be a violation of the law, an upsetting of public order, a 
serious injury to the general welfare." 

"This," M. Drumont goes on to say, '' is just what those in 
power to-day in France, the bourgeoisie of 1889, are just doing 
over again." 

After having been mocked by Bailly, the tradesmen petitioned 
the National Assembly. There all meetings of workingmen and 
tradesmen are declared to be unconstitutional, inasmuch as cor- 
porations have been legally abolished. 

A little later the Committee of Public Safety decreed that all 
workingmen who dared to unite to demand an increase of wages 
should forthwith be sent before the Revolutionary Tribunal — that 
is, to the guillotine ! 

Not till the reign of Napoleon III. were workingmen in PVance 
allowed to associate or to strike for higher wages. 

1 La Fin (fun Monde, Book I., pp. 3-6. 

Land and Labor in France and the United States, ; 

Furthermore, it is now well ascertained that the people the true 
people, both in the cities and in the country-places, were almost 
unanimously opposed to the Revolution. And M. Drumont 
quotes, in proof of this, statistics published by that excellent work- 
ingmen's journal published in Paris, La Corporation, going to show 
that out of 12,000 persons condemned to death by the guillotine, 
and whose names and professions are well ascertained— 7545 were 
men of the people— peasants, farm-laborers, workmen, servants. 

And it was the popular masses who were sent by the Convention, 
and afterwards by' Bonaparte, to fill the Revolutionary and Impe- 
rial armies, and to die on all the battle-fields of Europe. 

Not till the old and victimized popular generation had disap- 
peared were the all-powerful bourgeoisie, through the public press, 
able to convince the younger generation that the Revolution was 
the work of the people. Then the proletaires or non-proprietary 
classes began to work for the middle-class who now owned the 
land and gathered the golden harvest, and to secure to them the 
possession of their ill-gotten power and wealth. 

The men who filled the National Convention in the last days of 
its reign had all cheaply purchased their broad acres and warmly 
feathered their nests. They decreed that the old custom of con- 
fiscating property, as a punishment for enormous crime, should be 
done away with, as a relic of medieval barbarism! 

They thus secured their own estates against all future accidents. 

The restored Bourbons sanctioned all that 1793 had done, by 
refraining from troubling the new possessors. So that the 
bourgeoisie^ now completely triumphant, were free to settle their 
relations with the working classes. They reorganized labor as they 

And here comes in what is most vital in the social question in 
France. The abstract question of the rights of property has long 
ago been exhaustively discussed in France, both on the side of the 
Catholic Church and on that' of the positivists, socialists, and 
theorists of every color. So have been the relations between cap- 
ital and production, between the employer and the workingman. 
The Catholic Church is no theorist. She sets about binding up 
and healing the wounds of society, while others are speculating 
about their origin, their consequences, and their treatment. 

In no country in the world— since the Revolution and anti- 
Christian Freemasonry have taken out of the hands of religion the 
people and institutions of Italy— has that same rehgion' done more 
for the workingman and the indigent classes than in the land of 
France. Nowhere, at this moment, can the statesman and econo 
mist behold such admirably organized hosts of men and women, 
whose best efforts are devoted to the enlightenment of the laboring 

8 American Catholic Quarterly Reviezv. 

classes; to their moral, intellectual, and physical elevation; and 
to bringing- about between capital and labor, between masters and 
their workmen, that perfect harmony of interests which can only 
repose on practical brotherly love. 

The three published volumes of Count Albert de Mun's dis- 
courses leave not one question regarding the wrongs and rights 
of workingmen untouched. There is not a single practical remedy 
ever devised by human wisdom, or supernatural charity, for the 
evils which embitter the hearts and darken the lives of the toilers 
of earth or its disinherited poor, that the noble director of the 
workingmen's circles has not most eloquently described and most 
efficiently applied. 

Here in Paris thousands upon thousands of the children of toil, 
young and old, look up to him with a gratitude and a veneration 
which are only paid to men who have something God-like about 
them, and who are felt to be God's instruments for good. 

To us it is a wonder how one man, of delicate health too, and 
with heavy and responsible duties to discharge in his place in Par- 
liament, can find time and strength to multiply his presence all 
over France, wherever there is need of founding or developing 
one of these workingmen's circles, and to deliver there a discourse 
which you could wish to see printed in letters of gold, on tablets as 
durable as bronze, and hung up there forever. 

Catholics in America, friends and helpers of the workingman 
everywhere, who only know and love Count de Mun for his most 
eloquent and most successful advocacy of the duties as well as 
the rights of capital and labor ; for his enforcement of the Gospel 
law of equality, fraternity, and liberty, will be sorry to see any shade 
cast on so bright and pure a name in M. Drumont's pages. 

But there are, besides, among the bourgeois, or wealthy middle 
classes in France, many and many a noble Christian man and 
woman who make it the pride, the duty, the pleasure of their life 
to help Count Albert de Mun in promoting all his great works of 
social charity. We need only mention the two Harmels, father 
and son, wealthy manufacturers, who are not only benefactors and 
fathers to their numerous workmen, but who are, moreover, the 
apostles of that true Christian socialism which the Church preaches, 
practises, enforces, whenever or wherever she is free to do so. 

Again, looking to the Catholic journalists and publicists of 
France, men who have rendered, during the present century, the 
most precious services to religion and society, we find that five- 
sixths of them belong to the middle-class. We have only to name 
such men as the illustrious brothers, Louis and Eugene Veuillot, 
together with the staff of men who, for more than fifty years, have 
been foremost in the front ranks of the battle against Antichrist. 

Land and Labor in France and the United States. 9 

Noblemen and bourgeois stand there side by side, forgetting all the 
differences of birth and social position, and mindful only of the 
one duty of doing a true yeoman's work in the cause of God and 
the poor. 

The same is to be said of the French Catholic clergy. Its ranks 
are recruited from every class in society. If the majority are taken 
from the families of the peasantry and the laboring poor, the 
wealthy bourgeoisie contribute many glorious names to the mi- 
nority, while, perhaps, the old nobility contribute a still larger 

It is none the less but too true that the Voltairian middle classes 
are now more than ever, and have been ever since 1830, the con- 
trolling force in French politics, French public opinion, and French 
education. Since the accession of Napoleon III. the Masonic 
power has drawn into its nets the generations educated in the 
government schools. By slow but steady degrees the lodges have 
controlled the administration, the army and navy, the hosts of men 
and women under the command of the Minister of Public Instruc- 
tion, and the still more numerous hosts of officials in every de- 
partment of the public service. 

It is, at this moment, notorious that no man or woman has the 
slightest chance of public employment or advancement, unless 
such as are affiliated to these openly and avowedly anti-Christian 

It will throw no little light on what we have to say of the land 
and agricultural movement in the United States, to glance here at 
what monopolists are doing in France to ruin the latter and de- 
preciate the former. 

"The most odious monopoly of all," says M. Drumont,' " the 
monopoly which will end by letting loose on the Jews and their 
followers the public indignation, is that which is practised on all 
articles of prime necessity, on the industry and very existence of 
mankind. . . . The Rothschilds could not help being impelled 
into such monopolies as this, and thereby to aim at our absolute, 
complete, total subjugation. 

"The Graineterie Frangaise (the 'commerce or monopoly of 
French grains ') • • • ^^^'^ covered the market-places of Paris with 
fresh ruins, after the sad trials already heaped on our growers; the 
' combine ' has flooded the market with foreign corn, and has thus 
taken away from our French farmers the small profit they might 
have derived from a season exceptionally favorable. 

" This grain monopoly, exclusively controlled by German Jews, 
we are informed by La Gazette des Campagnes , s^cmg that, during 
the month of May ( 1 886)^^ther^was^^aU^^ 

1 La Fin cfun Monde, pp. S^-'ii^- 

10 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

prospect of a poor harvest, . . . made an arrangement with the 
Bank of Nevada, and purchased all the wheat stored up in Chicago, 
New York, St. Louis, and San Francisco. On June 15th they 
had thus purchased 37,000,000 of hectolitres of American wheat. 

" Thus encouraged, the Jewish speculators bought up that same 
week all the grain to be found on the markets of Liverpool, Lon- 
don, Hamburg, and Berlin, to the amount of 3,500,000 of hecto- 

" In less than a week the Jewish combine had raised the price of 
wheat up to ;^ 10.50, $\\.J^, and ;^i2.oo a sack. 

"The trick was played, and the unfortunate purchasers who 
happened to be uncovered, were obliged to pass through the 
Purees Caudince of the band. 

"Then came fine weather in June; the prices fell, and the 37,- 
000,000 of hectolitres of American wheat were sold for ;^2.oo, ;^2.25, 
and ^1.80 the hectolitre. 

" This edifying narrative (says M. Louis Herve, quoted by Le 
Monde) gives us some perception of the Credit Agricole as carried 
on by the Semitic race both in the Old World and in the New. 
This explains to us the incredible and absurd fluctuations under- 
gone by grain and flour during the last four months. 

"Free traders must be very blind if they do not, by this time, 
know who is to be held accountable for the high price of bread, 
and that the wheat-grower is the first victim of these cosmopolitan 
stock-gamblers. . . . At this moment they are laying their Semitic 
claws on the coal-mining stocks of England, Belgium, France, and 
Germany, so as to control the sales and dictate their law to all 

M. Drumont here accuses the French Minister of War of playing 
into the hands of the " Cosmopolitans," and of so ruining French 
agriculture that in case of a war with Germany, German Jews would 
alone have the provisioning of both armies. " The protestations of our 
farmers," he says, " the remonstrances of the Department Councils, 
petitions addressed to the Government — all is useless. The Min- 
ister of War, no matter who he is, knows well that on the very day 
he would cease to serve the Jewish interest he would be put out of 
office by the votes of the Freemasons, who are sold to Israel." 

These are terrible accusations. But up to the present moment 
no one has attempted to refute them seriously. The only replies 
to the author's courageous denunciations of such wholesale treason 
come from persons who smart under the pitiless lash of the writer. 

"What we have said," M. Drumont tells us, further on, " on the 
syndicate on wheat, is literally applicable to the syndicate on 
sugar. . . . The Jews began by disturbing the market by their whole- 
sale purchases and their deals. The sugar manufacturers and re- 

Land ana Labor in France and the United States. 

I r 

finers, unable to contend against this formidable combination were 
either rumed out and out, or forced to play into the hands of the 
speculators. Those who thus sided with the Jews have had no 
reason to complain. For, in the sitting of the Chamber of Deputies 
of January 15, 1886, M. Sans-Leroy declared that the refiners of 
Paris received in a single year eight millions of dollars as their 
share of the fraudulent profits thus realized. 

" While these parasites are thus growing rich, the true laborers— 
the producers— are reduced to extreme poverty. Many farmers 
have given up cultivating flax, growing wool, wheat, and the white 
poppy/ and concentrate all their industry on raising the beet- 
root. They have gained nothing by it. 

" Never, since the world has existed, have men seen a band of 
cosmopolitan freebooters displaying such hardihood, upsetting 
with such light-heartedness all the conditions of existence among 
peoples ; introducing so unblushingly into the peaceful habits of 
trade gambling, false reports, lying, .and thereby brutally ruining 
thousands of men to enrich themselves. This is the phenomenon 
of the closing century." 

The bourgeois class, therefore, who now govern France, have 
saddled the country with an ever-increasing load of debt out of 
which there seems to be, in the present paralysis of agriculture 
and the rapid decline of all manner of national industry, no issue 
but national bankruptcy ; these are the men on whom M. Dru- 
mont vents his patriotic wrath. Just as we are writing this, the law- 
suits instituted, with the authorization of Parliament, against the 
two Deputies, Daniel Wilson and Numa Gilly, promise to unveil 
such an extent of official corruption as fully justifies M. Drumont's 
vehement and frequent denunciations. 

Too true is it, then, that the bourgeoisie to-day in power are the 
descendants and the heirs of the men who made the Revolution 
of 1789, who alone profited by its wholesale confiscations, and 
who, in 1889, are determined to wrest from their Catholic or mon- 
archical adversaries every remnant of their vested rights, every 
shred of religious and political liberty. 

This is the situation which the civilized world should consider 
attentively. It has its lessons for the freemen of America, as well 
as for the subjects of every power in Europe. 

The Paris Municipal Council, the great majority of which is 
made up of men of the class we have been describing, is openly 
devoted to the realization of the most advanced forms of anti- 
Christian socialism. Nothing but the merest accident can prevent 
this powerful body of determined me n from proclaiming, at any 
1 The salad oil produced by the white poppy {oeillet) rivals, among the poor at 
least, the fruit of the olive. 

12 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

moment, the supremacy of the Commune. And this example is 
sure to be followed by Lyons and Marseilles, and other French 
cities. The present Floquet-Lockroy Ministry are pledged to a 
revision of the Constitution in an extreme radical sense, to the 
abolition of the Senate and the Presidency, to the repeal of the 
Concordat, the suppression of the salaries paid to the clergy, to 
the sequestration of all Church property, as well as of that belong- 
ing to all religious or quasi-religious associations, or even in- 

On the ruins of the Church and State, of the old Christian 
order, thus swept out of existence, the men in power will build 
up, or attempt to build up, a community governed by the prin- 
ciples of advanced socialism, collectivism, and anarchism com- 
bined. They will, perhaps, call it a Social-Democratic Republic ; 
but God only knows what it will be. 

M. Drumont, who, it seems, is not unwelcome among the an- 
archistic leaders, thus describes their near expectations : " Once," 
said they, "that we are put in possession, ourselves, our wives and 
children, of the palatial residences and beautiful houses of the 
aristocratic quarters (of Paris), and when w^e shall have burned 
down the registry offices, those of the lawyers and notaries, the 
seat of every public administration — those who should attempt to 
turn us out must be clever indeed ! " 

** It is through kindness to me," adds M. Drumont, " that several 
of these men have assured me that they entertained no special ill- 
will toward the churches ; that they only intended to burn all 
baptismal registers that could help people to establish their civil 

The supremacy of the hitherto oppressed and suffering working 
classes, without any faith in God or belief in the life to come ; 
without any religion but the worship of their own notions of right, 
and no law but the gratification of their desires, such is the ideal 
government these madmen contemplate. 

Is it, then, wonderful that, in presence of such imminent and 
fearful changes, all Frenchmen who love the true greatness of their 
country, who cling to the religion of their forefathers, and would 
preserve the popular masses from the anti-Christian deluge now 
sweeping over Europe, should combine and exert themselves he- 
roically to bring the laboring classes and the poor into the Ark of 
Christian principle, peace and practice ? 

We should be, therefore, much more anxious to see the Work- 
ingmen's Circles founded by Count de Mun and M. Chesnelong, 
and patronized by such true " Knights of Labor" as the MM. Har- 
mel, Abbe Gamier and Cardinal Langenieux, flourishing and mul- 

1 La Fin d^un Monde, p. 28. 

Land and Labor in France and the United States. \ -i 

tiplying their numbers over France, than concerned about the 
plans proposed for recovering from the International Bank and 
the Rothschilds the thousands of millions accumulated by criminal 
and fraudulent speculation. 

Until Frenchmen themselves cease to tolerate, to encourage, to 
participate in these godless schemes for acquiring sudden and 
enormous wealth at the expense of the public, to the detriment of 
all lawful industry and of the national honor and credit— it were, 
apparently, idle to declaim against the foreigners who build up 
gigantic fortunes on the foibles and follies of the native-born 

We in America are dll too familiar with the methods of such 
greedy and unprincipled speculators. Until the laws of our 
country, supported by a sound public opinion, shall have stepped 
in to restrain stock gambling and to punish the gamblers, we shall 
continue to have our " Black Friday." We have also our trusts, 
our pools, our combines, our monopolies — as they have them in 
France and the adjacent countries. 

All these are the curse of legitimate and honest labor, just as 
they are the excesses and abuses of the money-power in every 
State. Nevertheless, in the interest of labor itself, it were better 
not to call in the interference of the State, unless compelled to do 
so by the direst extremity. 

But in France, as well as in Belgium, the only remedy found for 
the oppression and suffering produced by the omnipotence of 
capital, and the greed of great corporations, is to adapt to modern 
circumstances the systems counseled by religion in the mediaeval 
cities, and which made starvation, pauperism, and a helpless old 
age things unknown among their guildsmen or trades-unions. 

To come to specific and practical measures for benefiting the 
laboring classes, those, in particular, who are employed in large 
manufacturing or mining centres, we must be allowed to quote here 
from La Reforme Sociale of October i6th last, passages from a 
paper read at Lille, in the month of April, before a general assem- 
bly of the Catholic Unions of Flanders, Artois, and Picardie. The 
paper was written and read by M. Guary, Director-General of the 
Coal Mines of Anzin, who presided in the Assembly at Lille, and 
is a type of the true Catholic bourgeoisie, devoted heart and soul to 
the work of elevating the thousands of miners and workers under 

The object of the paper is to show how the " Patroqage" of the 
great Coal-Mining Company of Anzin, established in 1757, is 
exercised for the protection of all its employees and their families, 
so as to secure them cheap clothing, provisions, medical assistance, 
comfortable and healthy lodgings, religious education for the 

14 American Catha/ic Quarterly Review. 

children, religious instruction for all, and certain provision against 
infirmity and old age. 

In 1865 the company established co-operative stores, under the 
name of " Co-operative Society of the Coal-Miners of Anzin." 
They began with a capital of ;^6ooo divided into ;^io shares. 
This was employed in purchasing cloths and stuffs, hosiery, etc., 
together with flour, bread, groceries, lard and bacon. At first 
butcher's meat was bought and sold out to the men. But they 
gave it up in summer. All the articles bought are of good quality, 
and are sold at the current prices in the district, the profits all 
going to the miners themselves, who are the only shareholders. 

The capital invested steadily increased, till it reached ^50,000 
in 1888, the number of shareholders being 3,022, about one-half of 
the employees of the company. Many of the miners live too 
far away from the stores or shops, of which there are fourteen, to 
be able to avail themselves of their advantages. 

The company at first only gave the ground for the first store, 
then it gave gratuitously the ground and all the building materials. 
Now that the society is a great success, it limits itself to carrying 
free all the merchandise and provisions needed by the stores. 

The directors aimed not only to teach the workingmen the 
rules and practice of domestic economy, but the manner as well of 
managing the entire business of the co-operative stores themselves. 
So among the nine members of the Board of Managers, five are 
workingmen ; the others are an ex-agent of the company, an en- 
gineer, the superintendent, physician, and a druggist. All these 
are selected by the shareholders. 

The first effect produced by the working of the society was to 
prevent the miners from getting into debt, and to help them to 
get out of it. The shareholders are given a fortnight's credit for 
their purchases. These must be paid for at the end of the second 
week. No advance is given on unearned salaries. If the last 
fortnight's accounts are not paid up, no articles are given to. the 
debtor, except for cash paid down, unless he should have sickness 
or some misfortune in his family, which in the judgment of the 
board should justify an extension of credit. 

The lodging-houses provided for the miners are spacious, 
healthy, comfortable, well kept, and erected with a view to securing 
family privacy. Each family pays about ;^i per month for house- 
rent. Each cottage has also a nice garden-plot. 

In the beginning the company generously encouraged their 
workmen to become the owners of their own cottages ; and for 
this purpose they gave the buildings just for what they had cost, 
accepting instalments of about $-^ a month in payment of the debt 
and no interest being asked on the capital expended in the erec- 

Land and Labor in France and the United States. \ c 

tion. But, as the French law does not allow parents to leave their 
property to the oldest or the best-behaved child, these cottages, 
on the death of the first owners, were sold by the Government at 
public auction to the highest bidder. And in more than one in- 
stance the house thus sold was turned into a tavern. 'Twas a 
pity ; but the company found it wiser to help the cottagers to 
live comfortably and to lay by their savings for old age. 

Since 1833 means have been taken by the company, with the 
co-operation of the miners, to establish a savings bank for sick- 
ness and old age; for widows and orphans. Thereby these 
thousands of laborers can look forward without anxiety to the 
time when they can no longer work. 

As religion, since the first establishment of this company, has 
been one of its directing forces, one may expect to see the educa- 
tion of the children and young people also well provided for. They 
have religious masters for the boys ; and the girls' schools are 
under the charge of Sisters, who also minister to the sick and 
bring them the prescribed medicines, etc. 

To the girls' schools are attached workshops, where the pupils 
are taught household work, sewing, mending, washing, bleaching, 
and tailoring. As there is a school for master-miners, the boys, 
after their first elementary instruction, are sent to this when they 
give good promise of talent and proficiency. 

Every mining village has its church, where the people regularly 
attend the Sunday services, and are instructed in the Christian 
doctrine and the duties of Christian life. The children, on making 
their first communion, receive each a gratuity of 12 francs; and 
the boys get a complete outfit the first time they are sent down in 
the mines. 

The expenses of public w^orship, the services of the priest, and 
those of the physician, are all paid by the company. 

M. Guary, from whose paper these details have been taken, has 
some passages toward the end which should be textually quoted. 
He is a disciple of Frederic Le Play, and thus speaks of what hap- 
pened at the meeting of the Society of Social Economy in 1887 : 

" In his eloquent address at the opening of our annual assembly 
of 1887, M. George Picot described what he had witnessed at 
Lille. Let those whose modesty I may alarm by quoting his 
words — for souls above the common modestly conceal their good 
deeds— forgive my repeating what he says, since they illustrate 
the truth I would inculcate. I should have known nothing, says 
the eminent Academician, ' if I had only followed the material 
details of the care and solicitude of the president of the company. 
I learned that not one workman was ever laid up who was not 
visited in his sickness by the family of some one of his em- 

1 6 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

ployers ; that not a child fell sick, or a death occurred without 
having some member of their families to see to the little sufferer, 
or to comfort the dying in the hour of supreme need. Thus 
was peace made between master and workman; thus was it 
maintained ' 

" Why," continues M. Guary, " does the magnanimous conduct 
so touchingly described by M. Picot find so few imitators among 
us ? Why are the poor and the rich so seldom brought together 
by an intercourse which is the incomparable remedy for curing 
the wounds of both the one and the other ? .... By such inter- 
course we could teach the sufferer that the Christian religion, 
from which people try to turn his heart away, is his sole and best 
comfort and consolation, as well as the honor and glory of the 
lowly and the weak. 

" We need intermediaries between the workingman and those 
above him. Since we are all here a single family, the family of 
Frederic Le Play, allow me to speak out what is in my mind. 
While glancing over the list of our ' Social Unions,' it seems to 
me that we have in them an army of officers ; but there are 
neither non-commissioned officers nor soldiers, without whom 
there is no chance of winning a battle. We must by all means 
recruit this class of men ;^ and they are to be found among edu- 
cated young men who have a career before them and a reputation 
to make. Then they should help to direct and protect the future 
of artisans and head-workmen, of all that numerous class who, 
to use the words of M. Picot, ' have many spare hours to dispose 
of, many idle days on their hands; and who, if they could only be 
banded together, would soon cast off their drooping spirits, and 
become joyous and energetic in the new hopes which would give 
them restored life and strength.' 

" How shall we realize our purpose? This is a question to 
which the leaders of our school of social peace must, in their devo- 
tion, find an answer." 

Deep as is the need of that social peace in France, we in America 
begin to feel that the mighty struggle between capital and labor 
should, among ourselves, be brought to a speedy and peaceful 

The past year was stormy and threatening enough in the world 
of industry. The Church, the Divine Teacher and Peacemaker, 

1 These Social Unions, as mentioned in a preceding article, are made up of two 
distinct but kindred societies, the " Society of Social Economy " and the " Unions of 
Social Peace," both combining their efforts to carry out the darling object of the illus- 
trious Frederic Le Play— the reform of society in France. The members of both 
groups are the most distinguished magistrates, jurists, publicists, and economists in 
Europe ; they should, as suggested by M. Guary, call to their assistance all the 
Catholic educated youth of their country. 

Land and Labor in France and the United States. 17 

has done not a little to still the tempest. It is timely, it is wise, 
to listen to the men who have again and again crossed this stormy 
zone, and noted its phenomena. Such a one is M. Claudio Jannet 


In order to prepare the fourth edition of his now classical work, 
Les Etats Unis Contemporains, M. Jannet visited our country as 
well as Canada, observing, noting everything worthy of observa- 
tion ; conversing with the most eminent public men ; examining 
our public establishments of every kind ; questioning men of 
opposite parties and opinions ; in one word, taking every means 
to arrive at a just and enlightened opinion regarding our political 
and economical condition. 

With the former issues of his book the most competent publicists 
in America, Protestant as well as Catholic, have expressed their 
great satisfaction.. Doubtless, ere this article appears in print, the 
American press will have pronounced their judgment on the two 
volumes now before us, and which contain the mature and perfect 
fruit of the author's conscientious researches. 

His conclusions are summed up in a remarkable address 
delivered on the 29th of last May, before a general meeting of the 
Union de la Patx Sociale, and which w^e had the pleasure of hearing. 
The discourse, published in La Refonne Sociale of October i6th 
and November ist, bears for title "The Social Constitution of the 
United States in 1888." 

Speaking of the land and labor questions as influenced by the 
rapid increase of our population and the incoming yearly tide of 
emigrants from foreign parts, M. Jannet says : 

"A very important fact is here to be noted, namely, that in our 
days there has arisen quite a hostile movement against further 
immigration, an evident desire of stopping this increasing influx 
of strangers. First, the Chinese were excluded, and this was justi- 
fied by good reasons. It was important that a population of an 
entirely different race should not grow in the Pacific States and 
the West, just as the Negro race had grown up in the Southern 
States. At this moment, the opposition goes further : it is sought 
to exclude all poor immigrants, even those of European race. And 
we may reckon upon it as certain that, ere many years have passed, 
the United States will employ restrictive measures to prevent a 
too great increase in immigration from Europe. 

" More than one law has already been enacted to hinder Euro- 
pean capitalists from getting hold of lands. The citizens of the 
United States are determined, henceforth, to keep for themselves 
their patrimonial domain, immense as it is. 

"Do the United States, then, feel that their population is 

VOL. XIV. — 2 

ig Ametican Catholic Quarterly Review. 

becoming too dense ? No. Is the natural wealth of their territory 
exhausted ? Certainly not yet But notwithstanding the fact that 
this territorial wealth is still unexhausted, and that there is a wide 
and fruitful field for the investment of capital, it is none the less 
undeniable that the country no longer teems with the abundance 
of nature's gifts as it did some years ago. The vast territorial 
expanse between the Alleghanies and the Missouri is nearly all 
filled up. Instead of getting land there for nothing, as in former 
days, the would-be settler has to pay for it a comparatively high 
price. Lands to be had without payment are only to be had a 
great way off, further west, in the country between the Missouri 
and the Rocky Mountains. There the climate is dry and less 
propitious ; woods are scarce, and in some regions artificial irriga- 
tion has to be resorted to. 

" What conclusions shall we draw from all this ? That to own 
land does not make a man rich ; he must also have capital to 
enable him to cultivate it. Hence the culture of land in the Far 
West demands, as a necessary condition, the investment of capital 
to give value to the husbandman's possessions." 

M. Jannet goes on to remark that, to a very large extent, the 
owners of land let it out to farmers. This system, he says, is 
doing great service to the country. Very many persons thus work 
for others in order to earn money enough to enable them to pur- 
chase afterwards farms of their own. " To attempt to settle on 
land, without any capital whatever, is for any man ruin, destruction." 

In other territories of the Republic, especially where long 
droughts prevail, the only remunerative industry is cattle-raising. 
Immense extents of land are devoted to the rearing of oxen and 
horses. On these border-lands there is a continual rivalry, and 
not unfrequently bloody frays, between the capitalists and the 
settlers who plant their homesteads along the water-courses, and 
who represent the small farmer class devoted to raising cereals. 

Great changes have occurred of late years in the agricultural 
condition of the Eastern and Middle States. The international 
commerce which has produced such an acute crisis in the value 
of land and all farming produce in Europe, has had its parallel 
in the American Republic. The wheat from India and the rich 
cereal crops grown in Manitoba have depressed the value of the 
same articles both in the Far West and in California. 

In the Eastern and Middle States no more cereals are raised. 
Pasturage, dairy work, the growing of vegetables, the rearing of 
fowls, etc., have, according to M. Jannet, replaced the old agricul- 
tural occupations of New England, whose farmers and house-wives 
now aim to supply the daily markets of their numerous and popu- 
lous cities. 

Land and Laboi- in France and the United States. 19 

So much for the land and its industries. 

Now, as to the great manufacturing industries and the labor 
question. M. Jannet begins by asserting a fact which may be new 
to most of the readers of the Review. It has been ascertained 
that the density of the population between Boston and Baltimore 
is nearly equal, square mile by square mile, to that of France, 
Belgium, and Germany. This is the region which is thickly studded 
with great cities. There are situated the rich deposits of coal and 
petroleum. It is also the seat of the great manufacturing indus- 
tries. The economical conditions of this part of the United States 
are not unlike those of Western Europe. 
Such is M. Jannet's estimate. 

" Nevertheless," he says, "this same great district has a great 
advantage, as compared with us. And that is, that whosoever is 
active, laborious, persevering, and, above all, temperate in his 
habits (this is a vital condition in America) — every man who is 
temperate and saving can more easily raise himself up to com- 
petence and wealth than such a man could in our old Europe. 

"A gentleman of wide experience in Worcester, a large indus- 
trial city of Massachusetts, proved some short time ago that of 100 
leading manufacturers of that city, ninety began by being simple 
day-laborers. This tells us that in such a country there is room for 
all to make their way upward, and that many succeed in doing so." 
This is the bright and hopeful side. 

But the dark side has not escaped M. Jannet's observation. 
Women and even children have, as in France and Belgium, to work 
in our factories in order to enable the family to live. And although 
the workman's wages is nominally higher with us, the cost of 
living is, comparatively, so much greater that our laborers are 
worse off than in Europe. Then with us strikes are more frequent, 
and these are a serious drain on the workingman's resources. 

While we are still following the sagacious French observer 
along the soil of New England into the Middle States, we must 
note one very natural omission in his work — the ruin of our ship- 
building industry, and the deterioration of our magnificent sea- 
faring population into factory hands, wasting their lives away in 
the great shoemaking workshops of Lynn and Boston, or in the 
cotton and woollen factories along the coast and in the interior. 

Before our great Civil War, and the deep disturbances it caused 
both in our social and in our economical conditions, we do not 
think there was in the world anything superior to the m'en who 
commanded and manned our fleets of clippers and steamships. 
Apart from the irreparable ruin caused to our native ship-builders, 
and to our carrying-trade on the ocean, there is the loss of our 
generations of hardy and intelligent sailors, who could have always 

20 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

secured us the supremacy on sea along the Atlantic and Pacific 

What statesman will take this matter up and revive our shipping 
industries, and with them call back into life the glorious American 
seamanship of fifty years ago ? 

If the politicians of the Atlantic States are too selfish and short- 
sighted to heed the warnings of quite recent events, why does not 
California set the patriotic example ? She should be mistress ol 
the Pacific. 

M. Jannet next touches on what constitutes the great social 
peril of the United States, the birth and growth of that gigantic 
money power -^ich not only threatens to oppress all individual 
and local initiative in industry and commerce, but to enslave hope- 
lessly our laboring populations. 

" In America," he says, "the heads of great industries, powerful 
companies like the Standard Oil Company, which monopolizes the 
sale of petroleum, the proprietors of the Pennsylvania coal mines, 
will of a sudden stop or limit their output, without any thought of 
the hundreds of workmen thrown out of employment. 

" I am here pointing out," he continues, " what is the sorest spot 
in the social constitution of the United States. There have 
sprung up there great financial societies, which make up a power 
against which it is hopeless to struggle. Unhappily these societies 
have not always a conscientious regard to their duties, and treat 
their workmen with heartless cruelty." The author quotes, in 
support of his assertion, the report of the Pennsylvania Secretary 
of State in 1885 : all but two millions of dollars stolen yearly from 
the workmen by a well-organized system of fraudulent weights 
and measures ; the salaries paid only once a month, and cut down 
from ten to twenty per cent, in punishment of pretended infractions 
of the rules. Then the system of paying the balance of the miners' 
wages in orders on the company's clothing and provision stores — 
all the tyrannical wrongs which cooperative stores of the miners 
of Anzin so effectually remedied. 

But the readers of the Review, after all the harrowing scenes 
of last year's experience in the coal regions of Pennsylvania, need 
only to be reminded of the abuses arising from this irresponsible 
money power to appreciate the successful efforts made in France 
and Belgium to attack the evil in its very root. 

Coming to the efforts made to withstand the oppression exercised 
actually, and the still greater oppression threatened in the future, by 
these " combines," "trusts," monopolies, etc., M. Jannet proceeds : 

" The doctrine which seems to prevail in the socialistic organiza- 
tions of the United States is the collectivism of Karl Marx. What 
it proposes is to make war on capital, war on industrial and com- 
mercial capital, with the aim of one day handing over all this 

Land a?id Labor in France and the United States. 


capital to the State and to the workingmen's corporations under 
the control of the State. 

"These notions were extensively circulated among the Knights 
of Labor, although their present master-workman professed 
opmions diametrically opposed to them. The majority of the local 
branches of the order were, two years ago, more or less under the 
influence of Karl Marx's teaching, if one may judge from their 
official organs in the public press." 

M. Jannet then gives a brief sketch of the order up to the 
present year. "Mr. Powderly," he says, "always repudiated, in 
his own name, the collectivist doctrines. He would settle all labor 
troubles by arbitration, or by a friendly understanding between 
employers and workmen. But strikes were always the last resource 
{ultima ratio) with the Knights of Labor, especially where they 
were the masters. Besides, the entrance into the order of numerous 
associations already formed, together with their staffs of politicians 
and leaders, did not conduce to unity and strength. These bodies 
had no idea of being entirely assimilated ; they persisted in pur- 
suing their own separate purposes. So that the general direction 
given by Mr. Powderly was not followed in practice by the mass 
of his adherents. The socialistic elements, underhand, did their 
own work and spread their own ideas." 

The condemnation of the Canadian Knights is then mentioned. 
A branch of the order, with all its Masonic signs, etc., had been 
founded in Montreal by a Jew of the name of Heilbronner, and 
had caused no little trouble between employers and workmen in 
a country where the social peace had never before been disturbed. 
The Canadian bishops, together with the Cardinal-Archbishop of 
Quebec, condemned the order. 

" In the United States, however," says M. Jannet, " the American 
bishops had equally good reasons for not condemning the Knights 
of Labor. For, in the Republic the workingmen, having no direct 
bond connecting them with their employers, no permanent relation 
founded on custom, stand in need of an organization to protect 
themselves against the exactions and extortions committed against 
them by the great industrial companies. And, as the direction 
given by Mr. Powderly to the order at the time [the condemnation 
was pronounced in Canada] was a just and proper one, it is easy 
to understand why the American bishops remonstrated with the 
Holy Father, and prevented his giving formal condemnation. 

"After all, when we examine the official programmes issued by the 
Knights of Labor, and consider only the general direction given 
to the order by its present master-workman, we can discover, at 
most, a few economical errors. Now, Rome has never yet excom- 
municated anybody for economical errors ; and this is fortunate. 
Mr. Powderly wants the State to work the railroads and telegraph 

22 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

lines itself; wants it to issue bank-notes to an unlimited amount; 
and would have the State interfere in many ways in controlling 

" These are mere scientific errors — nothing more. And hence 
the prohibition uttered by the Canadian bishops against the Knights 
of Labor was suspended in consequence of a memoir presented to 
the Propaganda by Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore." 

The decision of the Propaganda, as well as the more recent 
decision of the Holy Father, with respect to the Knights, is not, 
as M. Jannet remarks, to be considered in any wise as an approba- 
tion. " The majority of the American hierarchy,'' he adds, " who 
took part in this proceeding, were careful to declare that the Holy 
See had not approved the order. Every Bishop, in his own 
diocese, gave the Knights a severe warning, recommending most 
especially that they should not violate the freedom of other 
laborers who do not belong to their association, if they did not 
wish to court, later on, a sentence of condemnation. 

" But," concludes M. Jannet, " there never will be any occasion 
for condemning them, since this gigantic soap-bubble has already 

The conclusion, we are happy to say, was a hasty one. The 
order, though apparently much weakened by defection and divi- 
sions, is powerful still. They have once more held their general 
convention, and again placed Mr. Powderly at their head as General 
Master-Workman. This, with the latest instruction of Leo XHL 
regarding them, will be an inducement to be more careful in se- 
lecting and admitting their members ; more careful still in avoiding 
everything that savors of socialism, even of the State socialism ad- 
vocated by Mr. Powderly. 

With men like Cardinal Gibbons and his associates in the 
Episcopacy to counsel and warn their leaders, the Knights may 
long fill an important place in our social economy, and stand as a 
bulwark against the encroachments of combined capital on the 
rights of the workingman. 

We need such organizations, when well-principled and wisely 
directed, in our great and free country. But what we need more 
— and what must be the joint creation of the clergy, the capitalists, 
and the workingmen themselves — are such societies, founded on 
Christian charity, as those existing in France and Belgium, and 
which we have only glanced at in the preceding pages. 

There is among American employers too much of inborn gen- 
erosity, love of justice, and appreciation of the rights of manhood, 
not to make us hope for prompt cooperation from them when 
rightly appealed to. 

We want combined action in doing the work of God and the 
brotherhood. The time needs it, and the country is ripe for it. 




JEROME SAVONAROLA was born at Ferrara in 1452. 
J Naturally of a grave disposition, he soon manifested an en- 
thusiastic piety, and at the age of twenty-three he donned the 
habit of a Friar-Preacher at Bologna. His strict observance of 
the rule, his great talents, and, not least of all, his remarkably 
striking presence, drew upon him the admiration of the multitude; 
so that his superior determined to utilize his influence in the pulpit! 
His first attempt at preaching, however, was not a success. It 
was made in 1482, in the church of St. Lawrence, in Florence; 
and when he had finished, says Burlamachi, one of his most zeal- 
ous admirers, he found that only twenty persons had remained.^ 
Both he and his audience having decided that he was no orator, 
he for a time occupied a chair of philosophy, but soon abandoned 
the study of Aristotle and St. Thomas for that of Scripture. Now 
he was content, for his contemplative nature fully appreciated the 
lofty ideas and the mysterious and figurative style of the divine 
books. For several years he had devoted himself, night and day, 
to his Biblical studies, when he was again unexpectedly brought 
before the public. It was the celebrated Pico della Mirandola who 
was the means of pushing the retiring student into publicity, and of 
causing him to enter upon a career which was to prove his destruc- 
tion. This great scholar, one of the brightest luminaries of his 
own or any other age, had heard Savonarola lecture at Reggio, 
and had been so impressed by his eloquence that he prevailed 
upon Lorenzo de Medici to call the friar to Florence. In 1489 
Savonarola was appointed professor of Scripture to the young 
religious of the convent of St. Mark, and as his oratorical powers 
had greatly developed since his failure at St. Lawrence's, he soon 
acquired a great reputation. Before long, impelled by the enthu- 
siasm he excited, he reappeared in the pulpit; and voluptuous 
Florence was astonished at his denunciations of her vices and at 
the threats of chastisement which, by command of God, he said, 
he poured forth. The sermons of Savonarola, as we have them, 
are not from his own hand ; they were taken down, as delivered, 
by some of his auditors.' But imperfect as they are, we can readily 
imagine the effect they must have produced. " His eloquence was 
not that which comes from the use of the orator's arts, or from a 

^ Life of F. Jerome Savonarola, Lucca, 1761, p. 23, 
2 Tiraboschi: b. iii., c. 6. 

24 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

depth of reasoning, or from an emotion agitating the orator's self 
It was an eloquence which seemed to despise all human aids, and 
which, like the mystical figures of Fra Angelico, looks toward 
heaven and does not touch the earth. . . . Savonarola is like no 
other orator. True or pretended, he is a prophet ; he has the visions, 
the incoherence, the seizures, the figurative language, the rashness 
of one. For this reason, rather than by means of his talent, great 
as it was, he captivated the multitude."^ Several years before the 
Italian expedition of Charles VIII., Savonarola had predicted to his 
auditors that a foreign prince, led by the Lord, would become mas- 
ter of Italy without drawing his sword ; and when, in 1494, he 
heard of the preparations being made in France, he quoted the pas- 
sage of Genesis which threatens the deluge, and cried out : *' Oh ! 
ye just, enter into the ark. Behold, the cataracts of heaven are 
opened ; I see the plains inundated, and the mountains disappear- 
ing in the midst of the waters. Behold the day of the Lord's ven- 
geance ! " His predictions were universally believed, and his au- 
thority over the multitude became so great that a contemporary 
historian says that posterity will find it just as difficult to believe 
as he finds it hard, having witnessed these events, to describe 
them.^ A change came over gay and voluptuous Florence. Vice 
of every kind disappeared, and piety became so general that Bur- 
lamachi tells us that the days of the primitive Church seemed to 
have returned.'^ Nor was the eloquence of the friar restricted to a 
combat with vice alone. The Renaissance in letters and art had 
been more favorable to science than to faith, and for about a 
century an almost idolatrous worship had been extended to the 
works of Pagan antiquity, to the detriment of Scriptural and Patris- 
tic lore. Paganism had so far corrupted the minds of men that 
even the members of the Roman Academy of Pomponius Laetus 
were accused of thinking that the Christian faith rested on light 
foundations.* Art, as well as literature and true science, had suf- 
fered from this revival of Pagan sentiment.^ The painter and the 
sculptor, influenced by the works exhibited in the Medici gardens, 

1 Christophe : History of the Papacy in the i^th Century, v. ii., b. 1 6. Lyons, 1863. 

2 Nardi : History of the City of Florence, b. ii. 
8 I.oc. cit,, p. 86. 

* Canensius: Life of Paul II., p. 78. Tiraboschi : v. vi., p. ii., b. 2. 

^ " Pagan ideas again flourish ; the books, statues, and buildings of Paganism are 
restored ; modern works are modeled after the ancient, to the sacrifice of originality 
and of naturalness ; the authority of a philosopher or of a poet is weighed against that 
of the Scriptures or of a Father— professors even say, * Christ teaches thus, Aristotle 
and Plato thus ;' the Platonic sublimity disappears in theosophical delirium ; only 
Pagan virtues are praised, and the names of Greeks and Romans are substituted for 
those received at baptism. . -. . Lorenzo de Medici sings sacred hymns to please his 
mother, and makes obscene jokes to gratify his boon companions." Cantii: Heretics 
of Italy ^ Discourse XI. 

Savonarola. 2 e 

had adopted naturalism as a system, and, banishing the ideal, pro- 
duced merely the expression of human beauty— decency and 
modesty were ignored, and Savonarola indignantly asked the 
artists why they put their mistresses upon the altars, and why they 
pictured the Blessed Virgin like a courtesan.^ All this was 
changed by the Dominican reformer. On two different occasions 
the Florentines made immense bonfires, and performed a real and 
meritorious auto-da-fe, by throwing into the flames their books on 
impure love, their lascivious pictures and statues, while joyous 
strains of music floated over the great square of the cathedral. 

From the very commencement of his preaching Savonarola had 
proclaimed the necessity of purifying the sanctuary; but at first, 
in this matter, he restrained his usual impetuosity, and confined 
himself to declamations against the laxity, then but too prevalent, 
of ecclesiastical discipline. But his growing popularity soon 
affected his judgment and banished his reserve. From the acces- 
sion of Alexander VI. to the Papacy, he bitterly inveighed against 
that Pontiff, and consequently his auditors were divided into two 
factions. His partisans were known ?iS frateschi, or "friarites," and 
sometimes as piangoni, or " weepers," while those who, either in 
good or bad faith, trembled lest his denunciation would injure both 
Church and state, were called by his followers tepidi, or "" luke- 
warm," and arrabiaii, or ^* madmen." ^ To neutralize the influence 
of the Dominican, the arrabiati made use of the Augustinian, 
Mariano da Gennazzano, a friend of the Medici, and a man esteemed 
as much for his austere morals as for, his talents,' and of whom 
Savonarola himself said that '' if he had the eloquence of Mariano, 
he would be the first of orators."* But the impassioned genius of 
the agitator still held the people entranced. A Franciscan named 
Dominic de Ponzo was then put forward to stem the torrent, but 
the Grand Council, a legislative body instituted after Savonarola 
had procured the expulsion of Piero de Medici, prohibited his 
preaching. The Dominican had now become the real ruler of 
Florence, and the devotion of the citizens to their liberator took 
the form of insanity. Nerli tells us that they often interrupted 
their prayers to rush from the churches, and to the cry of" Viva 
Crista^' they would dance in circles, formed of friars and laymen, 
placed alternately.^ But the arrabiati did not lose courage, and 
the war of factions became so general that the very children took 

1 Sermon for the Saturday before 2d Sunday of Lent. 

2 Nerli : Com??ientarJes on the Civil Affairs of Florence, p. 68. 

3 Poliziano and Pontano greatly laud him as a preacher. 
* Tiraboschi : v. 6, b, 3. 

6 Lfic. cit.y b. iv., p. 75. 

26 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

part in it, and showed their zeal by pelting each other with stones.^ 
The opponents of Savonarola, most of them partisans of the exiled 
Piero de Medici, now took the more efficacious means of discred- 
iting their enemy by denouncing him to the Pope. Some of his 
most bitter sermons were sent to Rome, and the Augustinian, 
Mariano, who had been exiled from Florentine territory, preached 
before the Pontiff and the Sacred College a most fiery sermon, in 
which he cried out: " Burn, Holy Father, burn this instrument of 
the devil ; burn, I tell you, this scandal of the whole Church." ^ 
At first. Pope Alexander contented himself with charging Cardinal 
Caraffa, the protector of the Dominican order, to check the indis- 
cretions of the friar; but since the cardinal, himself a reformer, took 
no active measures, we must suppose that the Pontiff decided to 
let the matter rest. 

At this time the worst accusation against Savonarola was that 
of being more of a tribune, yea, of a demagogue, than of an eccle- 
siastic and a friar. The charge of heresy, made by the arrabiati, 
was unfounded ; in the heat of improvisation he may have been, 
and doubtless was, inexact in his expressions, but he had deliber- 
ately attacked no Catholic teaching. As for his political notions, 
he was a thorough republican, and carried his principles to their 
utmost logical conclusions ; he was a firm advocate of universal 
suffrage. All, said he, are interested in the State ; all, therefore, 
should have a voice in the government.^ Hence his institution of 
the Consiglio Grande of a thousand members, elected by the votes 
of all the citizens, and that of the Consiglio degli Scelti(Co\xvvz\\ of the 
Select), formed of eighty persons of over forty years of age, chosen 
by the former. Savonarola no longer inhabited the cell of a friar ; 
that modest apartment had been turned into a hall of audience and 
of political wrangling. Florence soon found that she had ex- 
changed the despotism of the Medici for that of the friar, for despite 
his liberal institutions, the reformer allowed no political measure 
to be taken without his permission. Marino Sanuto, a Venetian 
chronicler, tells us that " a stone could not be moved without his 
consent. . . . He was lord and governor of Florence."* It is 
worthy of note that Machiavelli, though not a partisan of Savona- 
rola, says, in his Discourses, that so great a man must be treated 
with respect, and he tells Leo X. that the Florentine state can be 
firmly re-established only by the restoration of the friar's Consiglio 
Grande. Guicciardini, whose History was written with a different 
animus from that pervading his unedited works, allows, in these 

1 Ibid., p. 74. 

2 Burlamachi: p. 34. Nardi : b. ii., p. 35. 
8 Nardi: b. i, p. 18. 

* Chronicles of Fenice.—Burchard : Diary. 

Savonarola, 27 


latter, his conscience to speak ; and in his book on the Govt 
ment of Florence he admits : " We owe much to this friar, who, 
without shedding a drop of blood, knew how to accomphsh what 
otherwise would have cost much blood and disorder. Before him 
Florence had been governed by a restricted circle of ottimati, and 
then she had fallen into all the excesses of popular rule, which 
would have produced anarchy. He alone, from the beginning, 
knew how to be liberal without loosening the reins." But the 
reader will be pleased to hear the reformer himself on this subject. 
In the Abridgment of his Revelations, published by Bzovius, he 
says to the Florentines : " After examining with care the state of 
your city, and the coming revolutions in its form of government 
which would seem inevitable, I have persuaded myself that the 
great change will not be effected without danger or without even 
the effusion of blood, unless Divine Providence comes to your aid 
out of consideration for the justice and piety of the citizens who 
are worthy. In this spirit, and relying on this hope, I earnestly 
besought the people to be reconciled to the Lord, and to merit 
His mercy by renewed fervor and sincere repentance. I com- 
menced my discourses on this point, on St. Matthew's Day, Sept. 
25, 1494. From that time the citizens appeared so zealous in the 
good works I had prescribed, that it pleased God to give tangible 
proof of His reconciliation with us ; in fact, in the month of No- 
vember, by a miracle of heaven's protection, you witnessed the 
desired change, and without bloodshed or other scandal. Now, 
since there was a question of proposing to you a new form of gov- 
ernment, I assembled all the magistrates and notables of the city 
in the cathedral of Florence, excluding only those whose sex or con- 
dition prohibited their being called. . . . Having discoursed for some 
time on what had been written by philosophers, statesmen, and the 
most able theologians touching the best way of governing a state, I 
explained my opinion as to the form most suitable to the genius and 
profit of the Florentines. In the following discourses I proposed 
four articles, the necessity of which was admitted : I. Religion 
should be the basis and the first rampart of our government. II. All 
private interests should yield to the public good. III. By forgetting 
all past injuries and quarrels there would ensue a getieral and sin- 
cere peace, and in no way should any trouble accrue to those who 
hitherto administered the affairs of the state. And I added that 
there should always remain liberty of appeal from the tribunal of 
the six judges, so that no private person could ever usurp the sov- 
ereign authority. It was also my idea to establish a Great Coun- 
cil, composed of the wisest and most illustrious citizens, after the 
model of the Council of Venice ; and that thereafter all offices, etc., 
should be conferred in the name of the people of Florence, and 

28 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

not in the name of any single person, who might thus take occa- 
sion to aspire to tyranny. I made no difficulty of assuring the 
assembly that all I had proposed was conformable to God's law 
and to His will. ... It was not only because of my peculiar knowl- 
edge of the Divine Will, but because of many conclusions of my 
reason, that I undertook to convince you of the advantages of this 
new form of government, the best fitted for your needs, the most 
favorable to liberty, and also the most apt to give great glory to 
your republic, which will thereby become more flourishing, both 
in the spiritual and in the temporal order." 

Great numbers, incited, of course, by the partisans of the exiled 
Medici, soon revolted against the dictatorship imposed upon the 
city, and allied themselves with those who opposed the friar on 
religious grounds. In 1494 the superiors of the Dominicans deemed 
it prudent to forbid Savonarola to preach the Lenten course, al- 
though a Brief of Pope Alexander permitted him to give it. His 
followers then appealed to the Pontiff, and then Alexander, who is 
said to have been Savonarola's foe from the beginning, quashed 
the prohibition. In fact, during the early troubles of the Domi- 
nican, Alexander VI. paid but little attention to him ; when he 
thought of him at all, it was rather with admiration. He had even 
conceived the idea, says Burlamachi, of enrolling the friar in the 
i Sacred College. But now Alexander, although not prohibiting 
Savonarola from preaching, summoned him to Rome to explain 
his conduct. The reply was an allegation of infirmity and the 
need that Florence had of his presence. Then the Pontiff threat- 
ened the friar with the censures of the Church, and menaced the 
city of Florence with an interdict. The Florentine merchants, fear- 
ing the results of this measure, and many of the cardinals, who 
were rather favorable to the agitator, prevailed upon Alexander 
to withdraw his citation. However, the Pontiff gave an eloquent 
rebuke to his stubborn son, by leaving it to his own conscience 
whether or not he would continue to preach. This moderation 
seems to have somewhat affected Savonarola, for he withdrew from 
the pulpit, substituting, however, the friar Dominic of Pescia, also 
a Dominican, and a man of reputed holiness, who was far less fiery 
than himself. 

The enemies of the friar regarded this retreat from the pulpit as 
a triumph for themselves; but when, in October, 1495, he broke 
his silence, they suffered from one of his most virulent tirades. 
Heaven, he said, would take condign vengeance upon those who 
had presumed to interfere with its work, namely, the establishment 
of popular government. To this denunciation he added new decla- 
mations on the need of reform in the Church. Pope Alexander 
now ordered the vicar-general of the Dominicans at Bologna to 


examine into the charges against his subject, and to punish him 
according to the rules of the Order, if he were found guilty. Dur- 
ing the trial the friar was not to preach ; but, in spite of this pro- 
hibition, Savonarola continued in the pulpit. The Pontiff now de- 
manded that the republic should place the agitator in his hands, 
and as his request was not heeded, he launched an excommunica- 
tion against him.^ This sentence was read in six churches of 
Florence on June 1 8th, 1497. At first Savonarola seemed in- 
clined to submit. He withdrew to his cell, admitted no visitors, 
and wrote a humble letter to the Pope. Alexander's answer was 
truly paternal. Among other encouraging remarks, he says : " In 
spite of facts, we begin to believe that you have not spoken in 
malice, but rather in simplicity, and out of zeal for the vineyard of 
the Lord." He concluded with a promise that if the friar would 
abstain from preaching, and come to Rome, he would annul the 
censures pronounced. To this letter Savonarola replied, demand- 
ing to be judged at Florence. However, he, for some time, re- 
spected the censures, and abstained from preaching. But, after 
six months, being asked by the magistrates, who were dXX frateschi^ 
to reappear in the pulpit, and reconvert the people, who, in the 
interval of his silence, had resumed their gayeties, he yielded to 
the temptation, and boldly defied his excommunication. On Christ- 
mas he celebrated the customary three Masses of that festival, gave 
the Eucharist to his religious, and, after a solemn procession around 
his convent,^ announced that he would at once resume his preach- 
ing in the cathedral. When this new departure was made public, 
the vicar-general, in the absence of Rinaldo Orsini, Archbishop of 
Florence, convoked the Chapter of the cathedral, and a prohibition 
to assist at the proposed sermons was issued to all the clergy ; the 
parish-priests were ordered to inform the faithful that, owing to 
the censures hanging over Savonarola, any one who attended his 
discourses would incur the same penalties. In spite of this action 
of the Chapter, the friar announced that he would follow the inspi- 
ration of God.^ 

From this moment Savonarola was at a disadvantage. People 
felt, and he must have felt, that his rebellion destroyed the influ- 

1 Alexander VI. said to Bonsi, envoy of Florence : " I have read the sermons of 
your friar, and have talked with those who have heard them. He dares to say that 
the Pope is a broken sword ; that he who believes in excommunication is a heretic ; 
that he himself, sooner than ask for absolution, will go to hell. He has been excommu- 
nicated, not because of false insinuations, nor at anyone's instigation, but for his diso- 
bedience to our command that he should enter the new Tusco-Roman congregation. 
W^e do not condemn him because of his good works ; but we insist that he ask pardon 
for his petulant arrogance, and we will gladly accord him absolution when he humbles 
himself at our feet." 

2 For some time Savonarola had been prior of the Convent of St. Mark. 
^ Nardi, b. ii., p. 42. 

30 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

ence, by weakening the authority, of his words. To obviate this 
difficulty he now attacked the validity of his excommunication, 
declaring, first, that the censures of a wicked Pope are of no weight ; 
second, that Alexander had excommunicated him without reason ; 
third, that the censures were pronounced against the " sower of 
tares," and he was not such a one.^ The arguments with which he 
defended these propositions were of the weakest kind, and to re- 
assure his partisans, he, one day, had recourse to a device which 
was terribly impressive. With the Holy Eucharist in his hand, 
he called upon God to consume him with fire from heaven if he 
was deceiving the people, and if the Pope's censure, in his case, 
was valid. At this time, says Christophe, " his talent certainly ap- 
pears great, but we can divine that he is not at ease, not sure of 
himself. Savonarola perceives, in the minds of his hearers, diffi- 
culties which disquiet them, and to which he is compelled to re- 
spond. He invents trivial similes that he may excite their laugh- 
ter ; he encumbers himself with suppositions ; he advances haz- 
ardous and equivocal principles, the consequences of which he 
would certainly repudiate." In fact, from the day that Savonarola 
openly defied the Holy See, his waning eloquence and deficient 
logic proved that he well realized his false position. 

When the news of the friar's daring rebellion reached Rome, 
Pope Alexander threatened serious measures against Florence if 
the delinquent were not sent to the Eternal City. The republic 
partially yielded. Savonarola was commanded to keep silent, but 
his disciple. Friar Dominic of Pescia, continued to preach in the 
strain of the master, and his rashness precipitated the ruin of both. 
One day a Franciscan friar, named Francis of Puglia, while preach- 
ing in the church of Santa Croce, declared that Friar Jerome was 
an impostor, adding that he was ready to try the " ordeal by fire " 
with the said Jerome. At that moment Friar Dominic was hold- 
ing forth in the church of St. Lawrence, and the news of the Fran- 
ciscan's challenge was immediately carried to him. He at once 
informed his hearers, and accepted the defiance. When Friar 
Francis found himself called upon to make good his boasting offer, 
he lost courage, and tried to escape by pleading that he had chal- 
lenged Savonarola, not Dominic. This incident was painful to 
Savonarola, but how could he disavow his companion when he 
himself had often declared that if his arguments did not produce 
conviction of the truth of his teaching, he was ready to invoke the 
supernatural in its defence ? He accepted the challenge, and for 
himself, but insisted that a Papal legate and all the foreign ambas- 
sador^ shoidd^e^r^^ ordeal ; furthermore, he demanded 

1 Sermon for last Sunday of Lent. 
■^ Nardi: b, ii., p. 44. 

Savonarola. ^ 

that if he came unharmed out of the fire, the Church should at 
once be reformed. Friar Francis refused these conditions, but the 
factions had entered into the spirit of the thing, and the mob would 
not miss the show. The impetuous Dominic, unHke the timid 
Francis, was panting for the terrible trial, and there were many 
Franciscans more brave, or more confident, than their brother. 
Finally, the affair was laid before the magistrates, and they decided 
that the ordeal should be held. As champions the magistrates 
designated, on the part of Savonarola, Friar Dominic, and on the 
part of the Franciscan challenger, a lay-brother named Julian Ron- 
dinelli. Certain propositions, the truth or falsity of which was to 
be established, in the opinion of many, by this curious means, were 
drawn up by Dominic. They were : " The Church needs reforma- 
tion. She will be chastised. She will be renovated. Florence 
will be punished, but she will afterwards prosper. The infidels 
will be converted. All these things will soon happen. The ex- 
communication of Savonarola is null." The magistrates then ap- 
pointed ten citizens, five for each party, as a commission to settle 
any differences that might arise, and all was ready for that trial, 
the worth of which we doubt, but which, in those days, commanded 
the confidence of the people.^ Previous to the experiment, how- 
ever, the magistrates sent messengers to Rome to obtain the Pon- 
tiff's consent to the undertaking. A consistory was held, and the 
authorization was refused; Alexander simply wrote to the Fran- 
ciscans, praising their devotion to the Holy See, and encouraging 
them to continue in their combat against error.-^ 

On April 7th, 1498, i 1 the centre of the Square of the Magis- 
tracy (in modern times, Square of the Grand Duke), was to be 

1 The Church never authorized or approved of ordeals, but, they being recognized 
in the laws of the barbarians, she was obliged to tolerate them. The prejudices of 
humanity are not easily eradicated ; witness the number of superstitions in our own 
day, and among the most cultivated. As far back as the ninth century Agobard, arch- 
bishop of Lyons, wrote against the damnable opinion that God interfered in the or- 
deals ; in the eleventh, Ivo of Chartres supports his condemnation of them by a letter 
of Pope Stephen V. to the bishop of Mayence. Popes Celestine III., Innocent III. 
and Honorius III. condemned them, as did also the Fourth Council of Lateran. The 
scholastic theologians teach that they are injurious to God, and favorable to lies. As 
for the question, whether or not there was ever anything of the supernatural in the 
frequent success of these ordeals, see an excellent dissertation in the Memoirs of the 
Academy of Inscriptions, v. 24. 

'^ In reference to this request of the magistrates of Florence, the Abb6 Chriitophe 
says that he is astonished to find that Carle, in his History of Friar Jerome Savona- 
rola (Paris, 1848), cites the letter of Alexander VI. as an approbation of the proposed 
ordeal. " If we rightly understand the words of the Pontiff," adds Christophe, " they 
do not contradict the testimony of the historian [Miscellanies oi Baluze, v. iv., Burla- 
machi, p. 132), who affirms that the decision of the consistory was averse to the au- 
thorization. They simply contain a eulogy on thQ feJ'vor, zeal, devotion displayed by 
the Franciscans in their struggle with Savonarola." 

32 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

seen an immense scaffolding, paved with bricks, and covered with 
combustible material. Two tribunes arose before it, destined to 
be occupied by the magistrates and by the friars of the two Or- 
ders. The square was filled with anxious spectators, the house- 
tops were crowded. At the appointed hour Rondinelli, at the 
head of a long file of Franciscans, and Dominic of Pescia, flanked 
by Savonarola, and followed by a procession of Dopiinicans, en- 
tered the square, and took their places. It was observed that 
Savonarola carried a silver pyx, containing the Holy Eucharist. 
Rondinelli advanced to the magistrates, and cried out : " Behold 
me ready for the ordeal. Sinner that I am, I know the flames will 
consume me. But let not Friar Dominic, therefore, boast of vic- 
tory ; he must take his turn in the fire. If he comes out unharmed 
let him be proclaimed the conqueror ; otherwise, no." ^ The judges 
replied that his demand would be granted. Then ensued a curious 
scene. The referees feared that the champions might have con- 
cealed some charms under their robes, and ordered them to change 
them for others handed to them. Rondinelli was perfectly willing, 
but at first Dominic hesitated. " Never mind," cried the Francis- 
can, " his robe will burn with his body." Then the Dominican 
changed his garments, but retained a crucifix. When he was 
ordered to lay it down, Rondinelli said : " Let him keep it — it is of 
wood, and will burn with the rest." Then Savonarola handed the 
Holy Eucharist to Dominic. But the crowd, believing that the 
flames would, perforce, respect the Blessed Sacrament, declared 
that if the Dominican were allowed to carry it, the trial would not 
be fair.* Savonarola persisted, and threatened to abandon the 
ordeal. An endless dispute ensued, and the promised spectacle 
vanished in ridicule. 

This fiasco was the signal for the fall of Savonarola, for one can- 
not trifle with the mob. Had he not been protected by the Holy 
Eucharist, the agitator would not have regained his convent in 
safety. In vain he mounted the pulpit to pacify the crowd ; his 
eloquence was not heeded, for all now felt that Savonarola was but 
an ordinary mortal. The day after was Palm Sunday, and, while 
one of the Dominicans was preaching in the cathedral, a crowd of 
young men burst upon the congregation, a voice cried : " To St. 
Mark's ! " and in a few moments the convent was attacked. The 
magistrates, tired of him who had made them, more than winked 
at the outbreak, and ordered the i^\N laymen who had rushed to 
defend the Dominicans, out of the building. The doors were 
burnt away, and the mob rushed in search of its prey. Savonarola 

1 Nardi, b, ii., p. 48 ; Burlamachi, p. 140 ; Anonymous Life of F. Jerome Sa- 
vonarola (Geneva, 1781), c. 26. 

2 Nardi, b. ii., p. 45 ; Nerli, p. 78 ; Anonymous author, suj>ra, pp. loi, 102. 

Savonarola, ^^ 

was found in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, in company 
with the imprudent Dominic of Pescia. He was saved from the 
crowd by some municipal commissioners, and, together with Domi- 
nic, lodged in prison ; a few hours afterwards Friar Sylvester Ma- 
ruffii was also arrested. 

Information of Savonarola's imprisonment was immediately sent 
to Pope Alexander, and he ordered the magistrates to send the 
friar to Rome. Had the command been heeded, the unfortunate 
man would, doubtless, have been confined, perhaps even for life, 
but the catastrophe would have been averted. The magistrates 
now appointed a commission of six citizens and two canons (these 
latter as Papal commissaries) for the trial of the three Dominicans; 
nearly all were declared adversaries of the accused. The trial 
lasted from the 9th to the 19th of April. During the first inter- 
rogatories Savonarola was firm and collected, but when, in accord- 
ance with the detestable and foolish custom of the time, he was put 
to " the question," as the torture was called, he quite naturally 
weakened.^ " Here," says Christophe, " we experience a painful 
uncertainty. What confidence are we to place in the avowals 
made by the accused? Although the Acts of the trial are 
printed with the title, Authentic Copy of the Trial of Jerome Savona- 
rola^ and although the signature of the friar is found at the end, 
there are strong presumptions against the value of the admissions 
they contain. Firstly, the composition of the tribunal, the pre- 
amble of the interrogatory, the testimony of historians, — all prove 
that the proceedings were not conducted with the calm impar- 
tiality of justice. Secondly, it is certain that Savonarola more than 
once retracted, and showed much vacillation, during the course of 
his interrogatory ; that he frequently declared, in presence of 
the Papal commissioners, that what he had said and predicted 
was the simple truth, and that his own contradictions had been 
extorted by the fear of torture ; that he acknowledged that tor- 
ture would force him to admit whatever his enemies might wish, 
because he knew himself to be unable to support such pain. 
Hence the Pontifical representatives were much embarrassed. 
Finally, the commission has been accused of having falsified 
the depositions of Savonarola, they having realized the impos- 
sibility of obtaining real facts sufficiently serious, and it is said 
that a notary, called Ser Ceccone, aided in this odious stratagem. 
It is true that it is an apologist of Savonarola who asserts this,' and 
that we should mistrust the testimony of those w^ho trembled before 

1 The characteristic sneer of Roscoe that the torture is the " last reason of theologi- 
ans " is uncalled for, for in what civil tribunal, down to the last century, and in part 
of that, was it not used ? 

^ Burlamachi : pp. 155-160. 
VOL. XIV. — 3 

34 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

the visions of the friar; but we find the same accusation, formu- 
lated, with no less directness, in several contemporary historians who 
had not the same interest as Burlamachi in attacking the equity of 
the commission." In fact, Nardi asserts (b. ii. p. 47) that " at the 
time, and afterwards, there was much doubt as to the truth and 
quality of the proceedings," and, that he himself may not be ac- 
cused of hiding the truth, he narrates the following anecdote : "A 
noble citizen, who had been one of the examiners of the said friars, 
and who had been chosen because of his enmity to them, was met 
by me in his villa ; and being questioned by me, with deliberate 
intention, concerning the truth of the said proceedings, he ingenu- 
ously replied, in the presence of his wife, that it was true that in 
the report of Friar Jerome's trial some things had been omitted 
and some things added." ^ 

When the examination had come to an end, the magistrates 
deliberated as to the sentence to be passed upon the unfortunate 
religious. A few wished to refer the matter to the Pontiff, as the 
accused were ecclesiastics, and besides, they were leniently dis- 
posed, and thought that the friars' only chance of escaping the 
death penalty lay in their being placed in Alexander's hands. But 
the majority insisted that the culprits could not be accorded any 
ecclesiastical immunity, as they were excommunicated. The party 
of severity carried the day, and Pope Alexander was requested to 
appoint commissioners to preside at the sentence and its execu- 
tion. The Pontiff commissioned Joachim Turriani, the general of 
the Dominicans, and Francis Ramolina. an auditor of the governor 
of Rome, and after some interrogatories they ratified the proceed- 
ings, and the friars were declared guilty of schism, heresy, perse- 
cution of the Church, and seduction of the people. They were 
sentenced to be burned at the stake. On May 23d Florence wit- 
nessed the last act of this terrible drama. In the square of the 
Grand Duke, where two months before Savonarola had seen his 
credit destroyed, another apparatus was now arranged for his 
death. Early in the morning the three friars went to confession, 
received Holy Communion with every manifestation of a sincere 
piety, and marched out to their last earthly suffering. Arrived in 
the square, they had to undergo the humiliating ceremony of deg- 
radation, being deprived, one at a time, of all their sacerdotal vest- 
ments. Burlamachi and Nardi assert that the prelate, whose duty 
it was to perform this act, said to Savonarola: "I separate thee 
from the Church militant and triumphant;" and that the unfortu- 
nate firmly and loudly replied : " From the Church militant, yes — 
from the Church triumphant, no !" The three friars were then asked 

' For other writers who bring the same charge against the commission, see Mura- 
tori. Annals of Italy, p 1498. 


whether they accepted the plenary indulgence which the Pontiff 
accorded them, and they all three bowed their heads and answered 
in the affirmative. They were then strangled, and their bodies 
reduced to ashes, which, to prevent any superstitious veneration, 
were thrown into the Arno.^ 

The following reflections of Christophe on the character of 
Savonarola are worthy of the reader's attention: "Certain names 
have a fatality attached to them— we can neither praise them nor 
blame them by halves. Some make a fanatic, a sectarian, an im- 
postor, of Savonarola; others, an apostle, a saint. The fact is 
there is something of all these in the Dominican. If we open the 
door of his cell in St. Mark's and there contemplate him at the 
foot of the crucifix, attenuated by fasting and drowned in an 
ecstasy of prayer; if we follow him to Santa Maria del Fiore and 
hear him reproaching voluptuous Florence with her vices, Savona- 
rola is a saint, an apostle. But if we turn to the other side, and 
behold the tribune who mixes politics with religion, the declaimer 
who inveighs against the existing powers, the seer who opposes a 
divine mission to the authority of the head of the Church, Savona- 
rola is very like a fanatic, a sectarian, an impostor. Unfortunately 
he finished his life with the latter character ; such was the impres- 
sion he left with the spectators when he left the scene, and we 
may well ask ourselves whether, if he had preserved the popular 
favor, he would have anticipated the role of the monk of Witten- 
burg. Protestants appear not to doubt it, for they claim Savona- 
rola as one of their forerunners. But they forget that this monk 
broke the link which might have connected him with their rebel- 
lion, on the day when, at the foot of the stake, he accepted the 
absolution of the Pope, and handed down to posterity that tardy 
but solemn proof of his repentance. . . . Savonarola knew not 
how to be either saint or apostle. We would hesitate to call him 
a sectary, and we would dislike still more to style him an impos- 
tor. We regard him as a sincere, but a prodigiously imaginative 
preacher. If we have studied him rightly, he appears to have been 
carried away in the current of an unregulated imagination from the 
day when he began his prophetic exposition of the Apocalypse to 
that when he openly substituted for the authority of the Church that 
of his own pretended celestial mission. Undoubtedly his eloquence 
is wonderful, but it is that of a vehement declaimer rather than 
that of a solid and enlightened teacher. We see in it the violent 
and convulsive agitation of a fever, rather than an effort of power- 
ful and healthy thought. His strength does not warm ; it burns, 
it boils over like the lava from a volcano. It does not illumine, 

Razzi: MS. Life of Savonarola Sanuto ; loc. cit., b. 6. 

56 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

it dazzles ; it does not guide, it pulls ; it does not march, it tum- 
bles. His spirit cannot understand the positive side of things, 
Savonarola is seldom true; exaggeration seems to be his domain; 
his figures are colossal, his situations forced, his end greater than 
his means. We need not be surprised if a man so organized, with 
such power of imagination and such weakness of sense, influenced 
by the enthusiasm which drinks his words, and by an idolatrous 
worship accorded him, — if such a man becomes intoxicated with 
himself, . . . and if he believes himself to be the envoy of the 
Lord. Savonarola succumbed to the hatred of factions which he 
had excited against himself. In our days he would have suc- 
cumbed to ridicule." 

Protestants have frequently spoken of Savonarola as a precursor 
of the " Reformation." Luther insisted that the unfortunate Do- 
minican taught the doctrine of justification by faith alone, and in 
1 523 he caused Savonarola's meditation on the 70th psalm to be cir- 
culated throughout Germany, together with a preface by himself, in 
which he declared that Friar Jerome was his forerunner, " although 
some of the theological mud yet stuck to the feet of the holy man." 
He asserts that Savonarola taught his own cardinal doctrine, and 
that ''for this reason he was burnt by the Pope," and he adds: 
"Christ canonized him because he did not rely upon vows or a 
cowl, upon masses or a rule, but upon meditation on the gospel of 
peace; and covered with the breastplate of justice, armed with the 
shield of faith and the helmet of salvation, he enlisted, not in the 
Order of Preachers, but in the army of the Christian Church." 
Savonarola was not put to death by the Pope, nor was his fate 
owing to the cause alleged by the ex-Augustinian, and the very 
work upon which the latter relies to prove his point shows the 
former's orthodoxy in the doctrine of grace. Luther draws com- 
fort from the following passage: " I will hope in the Lord, and 
soon I shall be freed from all tribulation. And by what merit ? 
Not by mine, but by Thine, Lord. I offer not my own justice, but 
I seek Thy mercy. The Pharisees gloried in their justice; hence 
they had not that of God, which is obtained by grace alone, and 
no one will ever be just before God, merely because of having per- 
formed the works of the law. Soldier of Christ, what is your mind 
in these combats ? Have you faith, or not ? Yes, I have (you 
answer). Know then that this is a great grace of God, for faith is 
His gift, and not for our works." But this passage is explained 
by its continuation, for, meditating upon the next verse, " Incline 
Thy ear unto me, and save me," Savonarola says : " Let thy sor- 
row show, if it can, one sinner, even the greatest one, who has 
turned to the Lord, and has not been received and justified. . . . 
Hast thou not heard the Lord saying that whenever a sinner weeps, 

Savonarola. ^7 

and grieves for his sins, He will not remember his iniquities ? . . . 
Hast thou fallen ? Arise, and mercy will find thee. Art thou 
being ruined? Cry out, and mercy will come." That Savona- 
rola's belief concerning grace was far from the Lutheran, is shown 
by the Rule for a Good Life, which, when requested by his jailor 
to leave him some souvenir, he wrote on the cover of a book. In 
it he says : " A good life depends altogether upon grace ; hence 
we must strive to acquire it, and when we have received it, we must 
try to increase it. . . . It is certainly a free gift of God ; but exam- 
ination into our sins, and meditation on the vanity of worldly 
things, prepare us for grace ; confession and communion dispose 
us to receive it. . . . Perseverance in good works, in confession, 
and in all that disposes us to grace, is the true and sure means to 
increase it." Protestants who would like to claim Savonarola as 
a precursor of the Lutheran movement, should attend to the fol- 
lowing passage, taken from the fourth book of his Triumph of the 
Cross. " Since Peter was made His vicar by Christ, and was con- 
stituted by Him pastor of the whole Church, it follows that all the 
successors of Peter have the same power. And since the bishops 
of the Roman See hold the place of Peter, it is evident that the 
Roman Church is the leader and mistress of all the churches, and 
that the entire congregation of the faithful should be united 
with the Roman Pontiff. He, therefore, who differs in doctrine 
from the unity of the Roman Church, certainly recedes from 
Christ. But all heretics differ from that Church; therefore, they 
are out of the right path, and cannot be called Christians. 
He is to be styled a heretic who perverts the sacred pages and 
the doctrine of the Holy Roman Church, and, following the 
sect of his own choice, obstinately perseveres in it. As has 
often been said, truth agrees with truth ; all truths confirm each 
other. But heretics so differ among themselves that they agree 
in almost nothing ; it is very plain, therefore, that they are stran- 
gers to truth. However, the doctrine of the Roman Church, in 
all that pertains to faith and morals, is one ; and although Catho- 
lic teachers are almost innumerable, they neither depart from that 
doctrine nor wish to differ from it. The kingdom of Christ and 
of the Church militant is not only established to endure until the 
end of the world; after the renovation of the universe, it will exist 
forever, as the Gospel and all the Scriptures and the monuments 
of the saints testify. Heretics, who have bitterly persecuted 
Catholics, have not been able to preserve their lines against the 
Roman Church, but have been utterly routed, together with their 
depraved dogmas and the obstinacy of their followers. It is cer- 
tain, then, that their false volumes come not from God, that their 
doctrine is not Christian." 

38 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

In 1548 the celebrated Dominican, Ambrose Catarino (Lan- 
cellotto Politi), published at Venice a Discourse against the Doc- 
trine and Prophecies of Friar Jerome Savonarola, in which he drew 
attention to many propositions which he deemed contrary to 
Catholic teaching ; but he declared that he did " not combat Savona- 
rola, who was worthy of compassion rather than of blame, but 
only his errors, which yet survived in the minds of those who, not 
without scandal and danger to their souls, believed in him."^ 
Probably in consequence of this work, Pope Paul IV. ordered an 
inquiry into Friar Jerome's works, and when the commissioners 
read to him some extracts, he exclaimed: "Why, this is Martin 
Luther !" But after the examination was finished, the only decision 
pronounced was a "suspension" of fifteen of the sermons and of 
the dialogue on Prophetic Truth. And in the Index of the Coun- 
cil of Trent these works are prohibited only " until corrected," 
which certainly implies that they contain only accidental, not 
essential, errors. 

The sermons of Savonarola were placed upon the Roman Index 
"until corrected," but his other works are animated by a spirit of 
the most tender piety, and are thoroughly orthodox. His Triumph 
of the Cross consists of four books on the evidences of Christianity, 
and is written in a vein of calmness very surprising to one who 
has just been subjected to the fire of the author's sermons. His 
five books on the Simplicity of the Christian Life are preceded by 
an epistle to the citizens of Florence, in which he thus describes 
his work : " I shall try to adopt natural reason, rather than the 
authority of the divine writings. And I shall do so, because of 
the incredulous, the wise ones of this age, that is to say, the 
philosophers and orators, the poets and others of inflated intellect, 
who think that the Christian life is superstition, and that its sim- 
plicity is foolishness ; also, because of the condition of our un- 
happy age, in which faith has grown so weak, and the supernatural 
light has been so nearly extinguished, that I am unable to decide 
whether those who acknowledge their belief merely regard it as an 
affair of opinion, and hold it because it was taught them in child- 
hood, or whether they really cling to it as something taught by 
supernatural authority. I hesitate in pronouncing upon the faith 
of Christians of to-day, for charity has grown cold, and the fruit of 

1 Catarino had a perfect mania for scenting heresy nearly everywhere and in nearly 
every author. He even denounced to the Faculty of Paris many propositions of the 
great Thomas de Vio (called Cajetan, from his birthplace and See of Gaeta). But 
he was well rebuked by Bartholomew Spina, master of the apostolic palace, who, 
when Catarino was named to a bishopric, brought forth fifty propositions, taken from 
the zealot's writings, which, the critic insisted (though without reason), were heretical. 

Savonarola, ^ 

good works does not appear. But since the natural light does not 
fail in man, so long as he acts according to natural reason, let the 
intellect, at least, of these people be convinced, and let them under- 
stand that the Christian life is truth and simplicity ; that it is not 
foolishness, but the wisdom of God ; perhaps, then, they will cease 
to calumniate it. I trust, however, in the Lord Jesus, that you 
will find in this book nothing contrary to Holy Writ, or to the 
sayings of the holy Doctors, or to the teaching of the Holy Roman 
Church, to whose correction I have always submitted, and do 
submit; but that you will discover in it the full truth, which 
came down from heaven to our fathers who everywhere preached 
it, and left it to us in writing, confirmed by signs and miracles.'" 

In this work Savonarola leads his reader to come, in each book, 
to a certain number of Conclusions. Thus, in the first book, the 
conclusions are as follows : The Christian life is that in which the 
doctrine of Christ is followed, and His conduct imitated. It is 
better than any other which can be found or excogitated. It is 
not founded in any natural love. Nor is it based on the sensitive- 
ness of man. Neither is it founded on the sole natural light of 
reason. It proceeds from no natural cause. It proceeds from no 
spiritual creature. Its root and foundation is the grace of God. 
It tends, with all its powers, to augment and preserve the gift of 
grace. For these ends, prayer is a better means than any other 
good work. The devout and frequent use of the sacraments of 
Penance and the Holy Eucharist furnish the best means to preserve 
and to augment the gift of grace. The second book treats of sim- 
plicity of heart ; the third, of exterior simplicity ; the fourth, of 
rejection of superfluities, and of almsgiving ; the fifth, of the hap- 
piness of the Christian life. The Meditations on the Psalms, 
Miserere, In Te Domine speravi, and Qui regis Israel, form, to 
use the words of the Dominican censor of the edition before us, " a 
honeyed book, full of the sweetness of piety, and it cannot be 
read without fruit if it is read attentively." This book is pecu- 
liarly interesting from the fact that Savonarola composed it while 
in prison. The following touching prayer is prefixed to the 
meditation on the Miserere. "Unhappy me! I have offended 
heaven and earth, and am destitute of help. Where shall I go ? 
To whom shall I turn ? Who will have mercy on me ? I dare 
not lift my eyes to heaven, for I have grievously offended heaven. 
I find no refuge on earth, for I have been a scandal to earth. 
What then shall I do ? Shall I despair ? God forbid !' God is 
merciful, God is piteous, my Saviour is kind. God alone, then, is 

Works of Friar Jerome Savonarola; Grenoble, 1666, vol. ii. 

40 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

my refuge; He will not despise His work; He will not spurn His 
image. To Thee, therefore, most kind God, I come, sad and de- 
jected ; Thou alone art my hope, my encouragement. But what 
shall I say to Thee, since I dare not raise my eyes ? I must pour 
forth the words of contrition, and implore Thy pity, crying : 
Miserere ! " Another interesting work of Savonarola's is a dialogue 
between the soul and a spirit, entitled TJie Solace of My Journey, 
the tone and object of which may be gathered from the first sen- 
tences : " Spir. I am now thinking of returning to my home, to 
see the God from whom I was banished; but thou shalt go with 
me, my spouse. Soul. But I know not the way to so great a joy. 
Spir. Our way is Christ. Soul. But faith wavers. Spir. He who 
approaches God, should believe that He is. Soul. And yet, he that 
is hasty to give credit, is light of heart [Eccles., xix. 4). Spir. 
But to believe in God is the part of gravity and of wisdom. Soul. 
Has God ever spoken to thee ? Spir. I believe those to whom 
He has deigned to speak. Soul. But how do you know that they 
heard God speaking ? Spir. Miracles have proven it. Soul. 
Miracles have ceased ; what then shall persuade me ? Spir. 
Doubtest thou that God is ? Soul. Many doubt, for no one has 
ever seen God {John, i. 18). Spir. But such have no intellect, 
according to the Psalmist (xiii. i.) : * The fool hath said in his 
heart, there is no God.' Soul. How canst thou prove that God is ? 
.... I admit the force of thy argument, but I ask, .... what 
is God ? Spir. If carnal men could know what God is, He could 
not be God. For we can only know tangible and sensible things ; 
God is not one of these, nor can He be presented to our intellects 
as He really is ; it is sufficient that we know what He is not .... 
Soul. Thy words have convinced me, and I already yearn for the 
sight of God ; but I ask myself, what if God does not grant it ? 
Has He promised to thus bless those who love Him ? Spir. Let 
what thou hast now learnt suffice for to-day The night ap- 
proaches; let us seek our abode in silence, and pray God that 
to-morrow thou mayest acquire more of the science of salvation." 
The first book of this Dialogue, as we have seen, treats of God ; 
the second, of the truth of the faith ; the third, of the Messiah, 
against the Jews; the fourth, of the articles of faith, against phil- 
osophasters ; the fifth, of the reasons of probability which favor 
the articles of faith ; the sixth, of the future life ; the seventh, of 

We now ask the reader's attention to the following remarks of 
Cantu : ** A man of faith, of superstition, of genius, Savonarola 
abounded in charity. Contrary to Luther, who confided entirely 
in reason, he believed in personal inspiration. From his works 


may be taken arguments both for and against him ; and by com- 
paring them, we may perceive how he sought to harmonize reason 
with faith, the Catholic reh'gion with poh'tical Hberty. He never 
denied the authority of the Holy See, although he resisted him 
whom he regarded as an illegitimate Pope, and against whom he 
invoked a Council which should reform the Church. Vanity of 
applause and impatience of contradiction led him to excess, but he 
acted with a pure conscience and from no personal ambition. He 
did not try to propagate his ideas by force, but by example ; that 
is, he believed in the power of truth .... He thought to guide 
the crowd by means of its passions, and, as always happens, he 
became the victim of these passions. He alone is a heretic who 
obstinately defends something contrary to what is defined to be of 
faith. The fame of Savonarola remained suspended between 
heaven and hell, but his end was deplored by all, and perhaps first 
by those who had caused it. In the churches of Santa Maria 
Novella and San Marco he is depicted as a saint, and Raphael 
placed him, in the Loggie of the Vatican, among the Doctors of 
the Church ; portraits of him were kept and venerated, not only 
by the pious of Florence who continued to oppose corruption and 
its consequent slavery, but even by great saints .... It is said 
that Clement VIII. swore, in 1598, that if he succeeded in acquir- 
ing possession of Ferrara, he would canonize Savonarola. Sera- 
fino Razzi, a Dominican of Florence, and infatuated with Friar 
Jerome, often exhorted the Pontiff to this step, and when he saw 
the thing put off, he procured a little donkey, and, septuagenarian 
though he was, started, during the Jubilee, for Rome. But the 
Pope, ' fearing much opposition,' would not see him, and would 
not allow him to publish the Life of Savonarola that he had 
written ; in vain had the Dominicans prepared an office for the 

1 The Proper Office for Friar Jerome Savonarola and his companions^ written in 
the 16th century, and now published for the first time, tmder the auspices of Count 
C. Capponi, with a Preface by Ccesar Guasti. Prato, i860. We subjoin three of the 
Lessons from this Office. " Lesson \\. When the work of preaching was confided to 
Jerome, having been instructed by divine revelation, he announced the future calami- 
ties of Italy and the coming renovation of the Church. While the king of France 
was menacing the Florentines, the man of God was sent to him to appease him by 
his prudence and his sanctity ; he went to Pisa, and pursuaded Charles VIII. Re- 
turning to Florence, he began to promulgate the divine will with an eloquence which 
hitherto he had not possessed, and with such effect that it seemed miraculous." 
" Lesson vii. His soul was often so united to God that his body become insensible to 
material things, was, as it were, dead. During the last ten years of his life he pre- 
pared none of his sermons before he had received the divine instructions as to what 
he should say. Who can describe his fluency of speech, the sublimity of his eloquence, 

42 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

"If the philosophical Naudet called him a modern Arius or 
Mohammed, the devout Father Touron thought him a messenger 
of God ; Sts. Philip Neri and Catharine de Ricci venerated him 
as blessed, and Benedict XIV. deemed him worthy of canoniza- 
tion. Not one of the followers of Friar Jerome became a disciple of 
Luther or a betrayer of his country s liberty. Michael Angelo, who 
raised bastions for his native city and the greatest temple in Chris- 
tendom, always venerated Savonarola. Machiavelli, who never 
embraced any opinions not in vogue, admired him at first ; he 
commenced to ridicule him only when he himself had fully de- 
veloped a policy that was diametrically opposite to that of the 
friar, namely, a policy without God, without Providence, without 
morality — an innate depravity, though without original sin and 
without a Redeemer — and which expected to regenerate Italy, 
not only without the Church, but in spite of the Church."^ 

Much has been written for and against Savonarola's claims to 
the gift of prophecy. It is certain that very many wise and cool- 
headed men among his contemporaries credited his predictions ; 
for instance, Pico della Mirandola, Marcilio Ficino, and St. Philip 
Neri. The reader may be interested in the following remarks of 
the prudent and observing Philip de Commines : " I have already 
told how a Friar-Preacher, or Jacobin, a resident of Florence for 
fifteen years, and enjoying a reputation for great sanctity — whom 
I conversed with in 1495 — Jerome by name, foretold many things 
which afterwards happened. He had always insisted that the king 
would cross the mountains, and he publicly declared that this and 
other things had been revealed to him by God. He said that the 

the majesty of his expression? His voice was clear; his gesture animated; his 
countenance, not ardent, but really inflamed. Through him peace was made among 
citizens ; the morals of men were so changed that they seemed to be other persons. 
The young, imbued with Christian simplicity, did nothing impure ; in their pious zeal, 
they roused the indolent, penetrated into their houses, seized upon their vicious books 
and pictures, and burned them in the presence of the multitude." " Lesson viii. As his 
fame increased, just so did the number and ardor of his enemies. At length, a crowd 
attacked the convent of St. Mark, demanding the person of Jerome ; but the gates 
were defended by the armed men surrounding the friar. Then the convent was 
assailed, Jerome kneeling at one of the altars, praying for friends and enemies. 
Fire opened a way for the besiegers, and they penetrated into the convent, destroying 
everything they met. The magistrates, informed of these excesses, took charge of Friars 
Jerome, Dominick and Sylvester. Jerome was imprisoned, and though twice subjected 
to the torture, refused to retract his predictions. Finally, the wicked man caused him 
and his two companions to be strangled and burnt ; his ashes were thrown into the 
Arno, but his soul took up its abode in heaven." As late as August 20th, 1 593, an arch- 
bishop of Florence, writing from Rome to the grand-duke Ferdinand I., complained 
of the recitation of this Office by the friars of St. Mark's, but he admitted that the recita- 
tion was private. 

1 Heretics of Italy, Discourse xi. 



king had been chosen by God to reform the Church by force, and 
to chastise the tyrants (of Italy) ; and because he declared that he 
knew these future things by revelation, many murmured against 
him, and he acquired the hatred of the Pope and of many of the 
Florentines. His life was the most beautiful in the world, as 
every one could see, and his sermons against vice converted many 
in that city to a good life, as I have said. At this date of 1498, 
when King Charles died, Friar Jerome also passed away — four or 
five days intervening between the two deaths, and I will tell you 
why I note the date. He had always publicly preached that if the 
king did not return into Italy to accomplish the task God had 
assigned him, God would cruelly punish him ; and all these ser- 
mons were printed and sold. And this same threat of cruel pun- 
ishment had been often written to the king, before his death, by 
the said Jerome, as the friar himself told me in Italy, saying that 
the sentence of heaven was pronounced against the king, if he did 
not accomplish God's will, and did not restrain his soldiers from 
pillage. He predicted many true things concerning the king and 
the evils to befall him ; the death of his son, and his own ; and I 
have seen the letters to the king."^ On May 13th, 1495, the Duke 
of Ferrara wrote to Manfredi, his agent at Florence, that he had 
understood that Friar Jerome " had said, and says, many things 
about the present affairs of Italy, and it appears that he threatens 
the Italian princes. And since he is a virtuous person and a good 
religious, we greatly wish to know what he has said and says, 
with all particulars; we desire you to see him, and to request him, 
in our name, to tell what he thinks is to happen, especially in 
matters concerning us." And Savonarola replied that he would 
pray to God, and then answer the duke. On August 8th, 1497, 
this same prince wrote to the friar : " We declare to you that we 
have never doubted the future occurrence of all the things you 
have predicted." 

Memoirs, b. viii., c. 3. 

44 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 


A GENERAL acquaintance with the artistic structure of the 
^^^ Hebrew poems is essential for an adequate understanding 
of the sacred text. Much discussed problems are, however, in- 
volved even in a superficial study of Scripture poetry. The rat- 
tling of ancient cymbals and kettle-drums, and the whole music 
band of savage nations, are still ringing in the ears of many as 
loudly as they rang in the ears of Herder's Alciphron. For them 
David still dances before the ark, and the prophets summon a 
player that they may feel his wild inspirations. Others expect 
to find in Hebrew poetry that beauty which they find in the odes 
of Horace and of Pindar. They imagine that there exists a series 
of rules of Hebrew prosody as may be found in our larger Latin 
and Greek grammars for the prosody of the classic languages. We 
shall not attempt to settle all doubts, and answer all arguments 
brought up by the advocates of either side, but shall endeavor to 
point out the results obtained through the serious investigations 
of the more eminent men of both parties. 

Before entering upon the technical structure of Hebrew poetry, 
we must know the sacred poems that have come down to us. Be- 
sides the Psalms, the books of Job and of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, 
and the Canticle of Canticles, we possess shorter poems in the 
song of Lamech to his two wives,^ the blessing of Noah,^ of Mel- 
chisedech,^ of Rebecca's kinsfolk,* of Isaac,^ of Jacob,^ the song 
of Moses after crossing the Red Sea,' the victory song of Israel,® the 
triple blessing and prophecy of Balaam,^ the swan-song of Moses,^" 
his solemn blessing of all the tribes of Israel,^^ Deborah's song of 
victory ,^^ the song of Anna, the mother of Samuel,^^ the lament 
of David over Saul and Jonathan," David's thanksgiving for his 
delivery from the hands of all his enemies and from the hand of 
Saul,'^ his last words,'' the canticles of Tobiah'^ and of Judith.'® 

1 Gen. 4, 23, 24. 2 Qen. 9, 25, 27. 

3 Gen. 14, 19, 20. 4 Gen. 24, 60. 

6 Gen. 27, 28, 29. 6 Gen. 49, 2-27. 

' Exod. 15, 1-18. 8 Num. 21, 27-30. 

» Num. 23, 7,ff. 10 Deut. 32, 1-43. 

11 Deut. 33, 2-29. 12 judg. 5, 2-32. 

13 I Kings, 2, i-io. 14 2 Kings, i, 19-27. 

15 2 Kings, 22, 2-51. 16 2 Kings, 23, 2-7. 

*' Tob. 3. ]8 Judg. 16, 2-21. 

Scripture Pottry. 

To these must be added several passages of the prophets the 
Lamentations of Jeremiah, for instance, Isaiah 38, Jonah 2 Hab- 
akuk 3, probably Daniel 3, 52-90, and several others concernin<^ 
which the learned have not yet agreed. The second book ti 
Kings ^ speaks of "a Book of the Just," which is now lost; but 
from a short quotation of it, given in Jos. 10, 12, it appears to have 
been a poem. The third book of Kings^ tells us that Solomon 
spoke three thousand parables, and composed a thousand and five 
poems, which also are lost to us. In the New Testament we meet* 
three passages which might be termed poems : The Magnificat,'' the 
Benedictus,* and the Nunc dimittis.^ The spoken Hebrew text of 
these canticles not being preserved, it is impossible to determine 
whether their poetic structure is the same as that of the Old Tes- 
tament poems. 

All Scripture poems may be divided into two classes— lyrical 
and didactic. The Psalms are mainly lyrical, while the Proverbs 
and Ecclesiastes are didactic and sententious. The book of Job 
and the Song of Solomon are treated in a rather dramatic way ; 
De Wette Schrader,^ Ewald,^ Delitzsch,^ and several others, es- 
pecially among the Rationalists, maintain that Job and the Canticle 
of Canticles are dramas in the strict sense of the word. How the 
name drama, in its common acceptation, can apply to the two 
books in question we are not told by the learned upholders of their 
dramatic nature. 

We have come now to a much discussed problem, the technical 
structure of Hebrew poetry. Many authors, discontent with the 
unsatisfactory and unconclusive arguments advanced for the dif- 
ferent theories on the subject, assign but vague and meaningless 
characteristics to our sacred poems. Nordheimer^ may serve as 
an instance of this. "The most important features," he says, 
" which distinguish Hebrew poetry from prose consist in the na- 
ture of its subjects, its mode of treating them, and the more ornate 
character of its style, which again give rise to peculiarities in the 
structure of sentences and in the choice of words." And again: 
**The sacred Hebrew muse, maintaining her primitive simplicity, 
lays down no arbitrary laws of versification with which to fetter 
the genius of the poet ; she requires of her votary neither more 
nor less than that he should find himself in that state of excited 
and exalted feeling which is necessary to the production of all genu- 

1 I, 18. ' 4, 32. ' 

3 Luc. I, 46-55. * Luc. I, 68-79. 

^ Luc. 2, 29-32. 

« Einleitung, p. 515. ' Die poetischen Biicher des A. T., ed. 2, p. 73 fF. 

^ Commentar ober das Buch Job, Leipz., 1876, p. 15. 

^ Hebrew Grammar, ii. 320. 

46 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

ine poetry, and should possess the power of delineating his emo- 
tions with truth and vigor." After dwelling, then, at some length 
on the universal features of poetic composition, he adds: "These 
primitive and fundamental characteristics of poetry in general, 
viz., a constant brevity of expression, and a reinforcing of the senti- 
ments by means of repetition, comparison, and contrast, have ever 
remained the principal and almost the sole distinguishing features of 
the poetry of the ancient Hebrews. Accordingly the attention of 
•modern investigators of the subject has been directed chiefly to 
ascertaining and classifying the different modes in which this mu- 
tual correspondence of sentences and clauses of sentences, termed 
parallelism, is exhibited in every species of poetical composition." 
Parallelism, therefore, without any arbitrary laws of versification 
to fetter the genius of the poet, is, according to Dr. Nordheimer, 
the distinguishing feature of Hebrew poetry. . 

After the clear and learned investigations of Lowth,^ the differ- 
ent kinds of parallelism are fully ascertained and classified. Syn- 
onymous, antithetic, and synthetic parallelisms are its principal 
divisions. Synonymous parallelism consists in the repetition of an 
idea in nearly the same, or in different words, in a positive or a neg- 
ative clause, in every second or every third line ; in the last case, 
when, namely, the first clause answers to the third, and the second 
to the fourth, or when the first and second clauses correspond with 
the third and fourth, the parallelism is said to be doubled. In- 
stances are common; Psalm 103, 1-4 may serve to illustrate sim- 
ple parallelisms : 

f When Israel went out of Egypt, 
■ I The house of Jacob from a barbarous people, 

f Judea was made his sanctuary, 
' I Israel his dominion. 

J The sea saw and fled : 
^' I Jordan was turned back. 

J The mountains skipped like rams, 

^' 1 And the hills like the lambs of the flock. 

Further explanation is hardly needed ; Israel and the house of 
Jacob, Egypt and a barbarous people, the sea and the Jordan, the 
mountains and the hills, lambs and the rams of the flock, are 
brought into opposition. An instance of double synonymous 
parallelism we find in Psalm 26, 1-3: 

1. The Lord is my light and my salvation, 

2. Whom shall I fear ? 

3. The Lord is the protection of my life : 

4. Of whom shall I be afraid ? 

1 De Sacra Poesi Hebraeorum Praelectiones, 1753 et 1763. There is an English 
translation of this valuable work by Gregory, with notes by the translator, from Mi- 
chaelis and others, London, 1787. 

Scripture Poetry. 

1. If enemies in camp should stand against me, 

2. My heart shall not fear. 

3. If a battle should rise against me. 
4- In this will I be comforted. 

Here we notice the mutual correspondence of the first and third, 
the second and fourth lines, constituting what is named double 
parallelism. We find at times three, four, or even more lines in 
the required mutual correspondence, e.g.^ Psalm 90, 5, 6. 

Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror of the night. 
Of the arrow that flieth in the day, 
Of the business that walketh about in the dark, 
Of invasion, or of noon-day devil. 

Antithetic parallelism consists in such a mutual relation of the 
clauses or sentences that the second is the converse of the first. 
The Book of Proverbs 11, i ff. may serve as an instance of this 
kind of poetry : 

r A deceitful balance is an abomination before God : 
' I And a just weight is his will. 

f Where pride is, there also shall be reproach, 

t But where humility is, there also is wisdom. 

f The simplicity of the just shall guide them, 
^' ( And the deceitfulness of the wicked shall destroy them. 

f Riches shall not profit in the day of revenge : 
^' \ But justice shall deliver from death. 

What could be more striking than the opposition between the 
deceitful balance and the just weight, between the abomination 
before the Lord and the will of God, between pride and humility, 
reproach and wisdom ? The strong contrast between lines of this 
kind of parallelism makes the thought very clear and impressive, 
provided it be not continued too long. 

In synthetic or progressive parallelism the inspired writer, keep- 
ing his main idea always in view, develops and enforces it by ac- 
cessory ideas and modifications. The praise of the law of God, 
as read in Psalm 18, 8-10, is a striking example: 

The law of the Lord is unspotted— converting souls : 

The testimony of the Lord is faithful— giving wisdom to little ones. 

The justices of the Lord are right— rejoicing hearts: 

The commandment of the Lord is lightsome— enlightening the eyes. 

The fear of the Lord is holy — enduring for ever and ever: 

The judgments of the Lord are true— justified in themselves. 

The whole passage intends to praise and celebrate God's law ; 
but this main idea is brought home to the reader and enforced by 
the accessory idea of the divine justice and the fear of God, and 

48 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

by the diverse beneficent effects of God's commandments on the 
soul of man. 

If this kind of parallelism is used to a great length, without 
being interrupted by either of the two kinds of lines above men- 
tioned, it is hardly distinguishable from good prose. Hence, ex- 
amples of poetry in which two, or even all three kinds of paral- 
lelism intermingle, are by far the more numerous. The words of 
God, in which He mapped out the mission of Isaiah the prophet, 
illustrate this principle of mixed parallelism, as they illustrate many 
another principle of both ascetic and psychological life. We read, 
Isaiah 6, 8 f., " And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying : whom 
shall I send ? and who shall go for us ? and I said : Lo, here am 
I, send me. And he said : Go, and thou shalt say to this people : 

Hearing hear and understand not : 
And see the vision and know it not. 

1 I Blind the heart of this people, 

2 2 And make their ears heavy, 

3 3 And shut their eyes : 

3 4 Lest they see with their eyes, 

2 5 And hear with their ears, 

I 6 And understand with their hearts, 

7 And be converted, and I heal them." 

The first two verses are, at the same time, progressive and anti- 
thetic ; the six lines that follow present a beautiful example of 
introverted mixed parallelism. In the first three lines, as well as in 
the second three, the ideas are progressive, while synonymous cor- 
respondence is had between the third and fourth, the second and 
fifth, and the first and sixth lines. The seventh line expresses the 
one main thought which God wished to convey, and for whose 
emphasis He made use of all the intermediate accessory ideas. 
The piece, taken as a whole, is therefore synthetic. 

From the very nature of parallelism, it is clear that Hebrew 
poetry is, to a great extent, divisible into couplets and triplets ; 
and these may be called its natural stanzas. A perfect instance of 
couplets we find in the fifth chapter of Lamentations, while the first, 
second, and third chapters of Lamentations are written in triplets ; 
a glance at the Hebrew text of the Old Testament will verify this. 
In most inversions the beauties of the original poetic structure are 
destroyed by the introduction of paraphrases, or by a double ren- 
dering of the same clause, or by a wrong division of verses, stanzas, 
and even chapters. In one case, we may obtain an idea of the 
original from the English version:^ 

1 Lam. I. I f. 

Scripture Poetry. 

1. How doth the city sit soHtary, that was full of people! 
How is the mistress of the Gentiles become a widow : 
The princes of provinces made tributary. 

2. Weeping she hath wept in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks • 
There is none to comfort her among all them that were dear to her- 
All her friends have despised her and are become her enemies. 

We might continue quoting the first three chapters of Lamen- 
tations, dividing each verse into triplets of synonymous, synthetic, 
or antithetic lines. Lamentations 5 may, as was said above, be 
divided into couplets of such parallel sentences: 

1. Remember, O Lord, what is come upon us : 
Consider and behold our reproach. 

2. Our inheritance is turned to aliens : 
Our houses to strangers, etc. 

Often, several parallel lines are thrown into one stanza, though 
Hebrew stanzas do not seem to have obeyed as strict metrical 
laws as do the stanzas of Latin and Greek poets. But this being 
as yet uncertain, we shall have to speak of it again when treating 
of the more recent views on Hebrew metre. That the inspired 
writers purposely divided some of their pieces into such longer 
and more artificial stanzas is plain from certain refrains occurring 
at regular intervals in several Hebrew poems. Thus we find, in 
Psalms 41 and 42, which constitute, properly only one psalm, the 
refrain : " Why art thou sad, O my soul ? and why dost thou 
trouble me ? Hope in God, for I will give praise to him : the sal- 
vation of my countenance and my God," repeated three times, 
namely, Psalm 41, 6 and 12, and Psalm 42, 6, five verses inter- 
vening between the three several repetitions, and constituting as 
many regular stanzas. In the same manner is Psalm 45 divided 
into three, and Psalm 56 into two stanzas. 

Another sign of artistic design in the building up of stanzas in 
Hebrew poems may be seen in the alphabetical arrangement of 
several of them. Its simplest form consists in making the initial 
words of the first lines begin with the letters of the alphabet in 
regular order. This is the case in Psalms in and 112, Psalms 9, 
25, 34, etc. ; Lam. 4, Proverbs 31, 10-31, are also alphabetical, 
but in such a way that every distich or tristich begins with a dif- 
ferent letter. In some cases, the third chapter of Lamentations, 
for instance, the first letter begins the initial words of the first three 
verses, the second letter the initial words of the second three verses, 
continuing thus in regular alphabetical order. Psalm 1 1-8 is still 
more remarkable, because each letter in succession commences 
eight verses, indicating that each stanza of the psalm comprises 
eight verses. The peculiarity of the alphabetic poetry of Sacred 
VOL. XIV. — 4 

50 American Catholic Quarterly Review^ 

Scripture cannot be exhibited in a literal version, but the trans- 
lators have tried in several instances, as in Psalm 1 18 and Lamen- 
tations I, 2, 3, 4, to compensate the reader by prefixing- the names 
of the Hebrew letters in alphabetical succession to their corre- 
sponding stanzas or verses. Prof. BickelP enumerates fifteen 
sacred poems of the Old Testament in which the alphabetical ar- 
rangement is observed. Whether, beyond indicating the proper 
division into verses and stanzas, this structure had any meaning, 
cannot now be determined. Some think it was employed to strike 
the ear and thus to deepen the impression ; others represent it as 
a mere aid of the memory. Prof Bickell suggests that it indicated 
the exhaustive treatment of a subject. 

We must conclude, therefore, that our sacred writers often in- 
tentionally and artistically joined their parallel doublets and trip- 
lets into more lengthy stanzas, even where they are not expressly 
indicated by references or by alphabetical arrangement. It is not 
difficult to see that in Psalms 3, 4, etc., two distichs are united into 
one stanza; in Psalms 91, 1 12, etc., three; in Psalms 120, 121, etc., 
four; in Psalms 131, etc., five; and in Psalms 96, etc., six. All He- 
brew poetry being subject to the law of parallelism, as we saw 
above, it may happen that stanzas are formed without regard to the 
number of lines, but merely according to the number of parallel 
verses. In Psalm 2, e.g., we have four stanzas consisting of three 
verses each, though the number of lines be seven, six, eight, eight, 
respectively. In some psalms there is a seeming redundancy of 
verses. Psalm 6, for instance, consists of four stanzas, preceded 
and followed by a single verse ; but the preceding single verse ^ con- 
tains the subject matter of the following three stanzas, while the 
last stanza prepares the way for the closing verse. In Psalm 13, 
too, whose third verse according to the Vulgate reading is taken 
from other psalms and prophecies, we may distinguish four stanzas 
followed by a single closing verse which comprises the burden of 
the whole psalm. 

Thus far we have considered peculiarities of Hebrew poetry con- 
cerning the substance of which there is but little or no doubt. As 
we advance now, we shall find ourselves travelling more uncertain 
roads. All admit the existence of Biblical poems ; all admit, too, 
that in poetry we naturally and necessarily require rhythm. The 
question then arises: In what does Hebrew rhythm consist? 
Rhythm^ according to its primary meaning signifies number, but 
number necessarily supposes a unit numbered. In rhythmical 
language, then, we must look for the unit, the repetition and num- 

1 Innsbruck Theol. Zeitsch., 1882, p. 320. 
'' 6,2. 

3 /5 i5-//oV, numeus. 

Scripture Poetry. -j 

ber of which produces what is called rhythm. This unit may be 
either an idea or it may be a sound. If it is an idea, we obtain the 
parallelism which thus far we have been considering. It may not 
be out of place here to draw attention to the fact that rhythm of 
ideas produces a more universal beauty than can be obtained by 
rhythm of sound, for ideas remain identical, whether the poem be 
translated or not, while sound changes, and' the sound unit once 
destroyed, rhythm, of course, vanishes. It becomes clear from this 
why, even in the versions of the Scriptural poems, there is found 
so much poetic beauty, for it owes its existence to the rhythm of 
ideas or to parallelism. On the other hand, every one acquainted 
with the original of our sacred poems knows that they possess, 
in Hebrew, a charm which is entirely missing in the versions. 
This cannot be the result of parallelism, since the ideas are the 
same in version and original ; nor can it result from a special clear- 
ness and force of language in the original, our versions being 
commonly much more easily understood than the Hebrew text. 
Therefore we rightly look in Hebrew poetry for rhythm of sound 
besides the rhythm of ideas. This conclusion, reached by a pro- 
cess of elimination, we might have drawn from two general prin- 
ciples of Aristotle,^ that, namely, everything without rhythm 
(number) is unlimited, and that everything unlimited is hard to 
know and unpleasant. The original of sacred poetry, even apart 
from the ideas, not being unpleasant, we necessarily seek for sound- 
rhythm in it, if Aristotle's principles be right. 

Our last conclusion was, that in the Hebrew text of Sacred 
poetry there exists a certain sound-rhythm ; consequently there is 
a sound-unit, from the repetition of which we have rhythm. What 
can be this sound-unit ? Articulate sound may be considered 
merely as an articulate-unit, or it may be measured by the time 
required to pronounce it, or it may be classified according to the 
relative intensity with which it is pronounced, or, finally, it may be 
considered according to the vocal elements entering its compo- 
sition. The articulated unit or syllable, the length or quantity of 
the syllable, its relative intensity or accent, and, finally, its com- 
ponent vocal elements, afford as many possible units of sound- 
rhythm. French poetry, for instance, counts the number of syl- 
lables ; Latin and Greek poetry takes into account the quantity of 
the syllable ; the German and Slavonic poets are guided by the 
syllabic accent; while the unit of similar vocal composition of the 
syllable, or rhyme, is used as an additional rhythmical etnphasis 
in many languages. 

One more remark we must premise : Rhythm must not be con- 

1 Rhetor, b. 3, c. 8. 

52 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

founded with metre. All metre is, indeed, rhythmical, but not all 
rhythm is metre. Venerable Bede in his book, De Metris, follow- 
ing in the footsteps of S. Augustine,^ tells us that metre is " ratio 
cum modulatione," while he defines rhythm, " modulatio sine ra- 
tione." The whole passage may be found in Vossius.'^ Rhythm, 
therefore, in its wide sense does not require an abaolutely equal 
number of units, but it is content with a relatively proportionate 
number. Rhythm of proportion is required even in prose, as 
Aristotle asserts in the above quoted chapter. We must deter- 
mine, therefore, in the first place, whether rhythm of sound, merely 
in its wide sense, occurs in Sacred Scripture, or whether we also 
find there metre in the proper sense of the word ; and, if metre 
proper exists in Sacred Scripture, what is the sound-unit of its 
rhythm ? 

Omitting all probable a priori arguments in favor of the exist- 
ence of metre, properly so-called, in our sacred poems, arguments 
to be found in Vossius^ where he discusses Aristotle's view of 
poetry and its essential constituent parts, we may at once proceed 
to enumerate facts, from which the existence of Hebrew metre in 
its strict acceptation follows with great probability. Such facts 
are : The existence of metre proper in several cognate Semitic 
languages, the psychological necessity of metre in- song accom- 
panied by dancing, the division of many sacred poems into regular 
stanzas, the directions given in Holy Writ itself that certain psalms 
are to be chanted after the melody of others, which seems quite 
meaningless if mere cantillation were in question. We must add 
the testimony of St. Jerome, who speaks of heroic verse, hex- 
ameters, trimeters, and tetrameters, when treating of Sacred po- 
etry.* He even compares the Psalms to the iambic and alcaic 
verses of Horace and Pindar, and tells us that Psalm Ii8 and the 
long Mosaic poems are written in hexameters of sixteen syllables 
to the line. Flav. Josephus^ maintains that the songs of Moses, 
in Exodus 15 and Deut. 33, are written in hexameter verse, the 
Psalms in trimeter and pentameter. Here is the place to state the 
reasoning of Dr. J. Ecker of Miinster" against Dr. Bickell's system 
•of Hebrew metre, which, in reality, is valid against the existence 
'Of any kind of metre in sacred poetry. If metre ever existed, 
.how could its knowledge be lost, since the poems were of almost 
daily use in temple and synagogue? Professor Bickell answered 

•1 Lib. iii. de Musica. 2 Xom. v. inst. poet. 1. i, c. 8, \ 12. 

3 Tom. 5, de arr. poet, natura ce. 2 et 3. 

4 r. Praep. Evang. xi. 5 (M. 21, 852)— Praef. in lib. Job; ad Paulam ep. 30, 3 
f (M. 22, 442) — Praef. in Euseb, Chron. (M. 27, 223. 

6 Antiq. ii. 16, 4; iv. 8, 44; vii. 12, 3. 

« Xiterarischer Handweiser, N. 320, September, 1882. 

Scripture Poetry. c^ 

the objection^ by citing a similar instance. The syllabic, rhythmic, 
and strophic structure of the Greek Church hymns had been en- 
tirely forgotten by the Greeks themselves, though the hymns had 
continued in daily liturgical use. Cardinal Pitra was the first to 
rediscover the metrical nature of the hymns. The learned Pro- 
fessor observes that such a forgetfulness must have been much 
easier among the Hebrews, psalmody proper ceasing with the de- 
struction of the temple, and being replaced later by the mere re- 
cital of psalms in the synagogues. We must also call attention to 
the fact that not all Hebrew poems were songs, many of them 
belonging to didactic poetry. 

The probable existence of regular metre in our sacred poems 
being taken for granted, we may proceed to consider the different 
metrical systems proposed at various times as the true keys to 
Hebrew poetry. The view, that in some Hebrew poems rhyme 
was intended, may be passed over in silence, since real rhyme oc- 
curs so rarely that its occurrence is more easily explained by 
chance than by any rule of art. Those taking interest in this pe- 
culiarity may find instances of it in Ps. 8, 5 ; Is. 33, 22; Judg. 14, 
8 ; Gen. 4, 23 f ; Numb. 10, 35, etc. Instances of alliteration are 
more frequent. Dr. Julius Ley, of Halle, proposed, in 1863, al- 
literation as the general system of Hebrew poetry, but being left 
alone in his theory, he himself abandoned it and became the advo- 
cate of a more satisfactory system. 

The vocal elements of the syllable cannot, therefore, be consid- 
ered as the true unit of Hebrew sound-rhythm. Nor were the 
remaining three elements of sound, the syllable, its accent, its 
quantity, which we recognized above as possible units of sound- 
rhythm, left untried. Since Josephus, Eusebius, Philo, and St. 
Jerome had asserted that in sacred poetry the verses and feet cor- 
responded to the feet and verses of classic poetry, attempts were 
made to scan the Psalms accordingly. In 1637 appeared at Lyons 
the ^' Lyre of David," by Fr. Gomar. The learned author finds 
in the Psalms instances parallel to certain portions of Sophocles 
and Pindar. Lud. Capellus, in his " Critica Sacra," proved this 
theory to be untenable. The same system was proposed by C. 
G. Anton,^' and of late by A. F. Manoury.^ William Jones* modi- 
fied the system a little according to the canons of Arabic instead 
of classic poetry. All closed syllables, i.e., syllables ending in a 
consonant, he considers as long, all open syllables, i.e., syllables 
ending in vowels, as short. He admits the spondee, the -iambus, 

1 Zeitschrift fur Katholische Theologie, Innsbruck, 1882, iv., 789. 

2 Conjectura de metro Hebraeorum antique, Lips., 1770. 
» Lettre surla versification Hebraique, Bar le Due, 1880. 
4 Poeseos Asiaticae Commentarius, London, 1774. 

54 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

the trochee, the pyrrichius, the anapest, the bacchius, the amphi- 
macer and the molossus, as possible single feet, which he then joins 
in all possible ways into compound feet. After scanning six or 
eight lines he consoles us with the assurance that he supposes Job 
28, the Lament, the songs of Moses, and Deborah, also might be 
scanned in the same fashion. We cannot but smile at the candor 
of W. Jones, when he admits not to be able to do justice to this 
subject without spending an infinite amount of labor and time at 
it, which he says he cannot spare. Expressing his satisfaction 
with himself for having opened a new road to the true beauty of 
Hebrew poetry, he leaves to us all the infinite labor required to 
reach that beauty. 

It seems, then, that besides the vocal composition of the syllable, 
we must discard also syllabic-quantity as the possible unit of He- 
brew sound-rhythm. Next follow the attempts to scan the Scrip- 
ture poems according to accent, or the relative stress of the syl- 
lable. That the written Massoretic accent cannot be taken as the 
leading principle of Hebrew versification, is evident. If it were, it 
should have been introduced from the beginning, while it dates 
from several centuries after Christ ; it should be of the same nature 
in all poetic pieces, while one system of accentuation is followed 
in Psalms, Job, and Proverbs, another in the rest of sacred poetry ; 
finally, in the different editions of the same poetic passages, e.g., 
Psalm 17 and 2 Kings, 22, 2, Psalms 13 and 52, etc., we should find 
the same accents, which is not the case. The fruitless attempts of 
E. J. Greve/ and of I. A. Bellermann^ to scan sacred poetry ac- 
cording to accent, may be seen in Rosenmijller.^ Dr. J. Ley, of 
Halle, proposed in 1875* the system of applying to Hebrew po- 
etry the canons of the old German versification — to count, namely, 
the number of accented syllables in the line, allowing any number 
of unaccented syllables to intervene between the single accents. 
We may accent a given word or not, according to the needs of the 
metre ; in case of necessity, we may admit even a double accent 
on the same word. When verses are too short, they are called 
catalectic; and when too long, an anacrusis-accent^ is not counted. 
With all these licenses, the divisions of the verse cannot be 
brought into harmony with the divisions of the sense. At times, 
most closely connected words must be separated, even single words 
split, in order to construct verses and stanzas. Dr. Neteler^ had 

1 Ultima capita 1. Jobi — accedit tractatus de metris Heb. poeticis, Davent., 1788. 

2 Versuch uber die Metrik der Hebraer., Berlin, 1813. 

* In Lowth de sacra poesi Heb., Lips., 181 5, p. 434 f. 

* Grundzuge des Rhythmus, des Vers und Strophenbaues in der Hebraischen Poesie. 
fi Auftact. 6 Anfang der Hebraischen Metrik der Psalmen, Munster, 1871. 

Scripture Poetry. -- 

tried the same theory without allowing as many poetic licenses, 
and with a correspondingly less amount of success. 

Ch. A. Briggs, Professor in Union Theological Seminary, New 
York, began a series of articles on Hebrew metre in the April 
number oi Hebraic a, 1886. His theory may be summed up in the 
following words, taken from his first article: " Hebrew poetry 
counts the words and measures by the beats of the accent .... 
Maqqephs must be inserted wherever the rhythm requires it, for 
this is a device whereby two or more words are combined under 
one rhythmical accent." Professor Briggs measures his lines, there- 
fore, according to accent ; he admits only one accent in a given 
word. But, if the metre requires it, he unites two or more words 
into one by means of Maqqeph, avoiding thus the inconvenience 
of wholly unaccented words. To avoid double accents on the 
same word he omits existing Maqqephs, thus splitting compound 
words into their component simple ones. These changes of the 
Massoretic text presupposed, he proceeds to illustrate his system 
by scanning instances of Hebrew trimeter, tetrameter, pentameter, 
etc. The system, therefore, does not differ from that of Drs. 
Neteler and Ley, excepting that it introduces an arbitrary Maq- 
qeph instead of an arbitrary accent. 

The weakness of Ley's system was shown in the Lit. Central- 
blatt^ in a criticism coming probably from the pen of Dr. Merx, of 
Jena. The critic proves that not the Massoretic verse but the 
hemistich is to be considered as poetical unit of the stanza ; that 
the verse division ought to coincide with the division of sense, and 
that syllables ought to be counted instead of accents. Applying 
these principles to the Book of Job,^ he advanced the study of He- 
brew metre more than it had advanced for over a century before 
him. But his system, too, has its weak sides. It disregards all 
accent, and it requires only an approximately equal number of 
syllables in the corresponding hemistichs ; for the inequality of 
syllables, in the author's view, was counterbalanced by the melody 
of song. 

We see that, in the systems thus far considered, the vocal com- 
position of the syllable, its quantity, its accent, the syllable itself, 
are severally looked upon as units of sound- rhythm, and that the 
result is not satisfactory ; either because the sacred poems cannot 
be scanned according to the proposed systems, or because the 
systems allow too many licenses to satisfy an honest inquirer. Well, 
then, might thorough students follow a hint of Gregoriua Bar He- 
braeus,' informing us that other Syriac doctors, Isaac, namely, and 

J 1876, n. 32. 2 Gedicht von Hiob, Jena, 1871. 

s Ethic, par. i. cp. 5, sect. 4, as quoted in Assemani Bibliotheca Orientalis, torn. i. 
cp. 8. 

56 Amencan Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Balai, composed several songs according to the Davidic verse, or 
the verse of the Psalms. From the technical structure of the poems 
of Isaac and Balai, therefore, we may learn the technical struc- 
ture of the Psalms, and consequently of all other sacred poems. 
The Syriac poems were pointed out in another way as the key to 
the Hebrew poems. Cardinal Pitra^ rediscovered the metre of the 
sacred Greek hymns by applying the metrical canons of the Syriac 
Madrosche in their scanning, and these in turn he supposes to 
have been modeled on Hebrew psalmody. Their close similarity 
to the therapeutic songs, as described by Philo, was the basis of 
Pitra's supposition. 

The canons of Syriac metre are to be found in the introduction 
of Bickell's " Sti. Ephraemi Carmina Nisibena." ^ Without entering 
into technical details, it suffices for our purpose to know that Sy- 
riac verse disregards quantity, and counts the number of syllables, 
every second of which is accented, the metrical accident coin- 
ciding with the verbal. Hence we find only iambic and trochaic 
feet in Syriac verse. Vowels are sometimes rejected, sometimes 
inserted, sometimes contracted. Prof. Bickell proceeded next to 
apply these canons to sacred song, and succeeded beyond all ex- 
pectation. He published, or rather announced, his theory in the 
"Innsbrucker Theol. Zeitschrift,"^ explained it more fully in his 
" Metrices Biblicae Regulae," ^ extended it to all poetical passages of 
the Old Testament in his " Carmina V. T. metrice,"^ which he after- 
wards supplemented at various times in the " Innsbrucker Theol. 
Zeitschrift."^ G. Gietmann, S. J., in his " De re metrica Hebrae- 
orum,"' follows the same system of scanning, though he differs in 
details from Bickell. The system is adopted as the true one by 
men like A. Rohling,' H. Lesetre,^ J. Knabenbauer, SJ.,'° F. Vig- 
ouroux,^^ and others of no ordinary reputation. Nor can Bickell's 
system be called new, for, besides Bar Hebraeus, who spoke of it 
as of a thing beyond dispute, Fr. Hare^' had proposed the same 
system, at least in substance. He admitted only dissyllabic feet, 
made no account of syllabic quantity, and accepted only the iam- 
bic and trochaic movement like Bickell ; unlike Bickell, but like 
Gietmann, he did not require that the end of the metrical line 

» Hymnographie de I'Eglise Grecque, Rome, 1868. 

2 Leipz., 1866, pp. 31-35. 3 i^7g^ pp^ 7gj ^^ 

* CEniponte, 1879. 5 CEmponte, 1882. 
6 1885, p. 718 ff. ; 1866, pp. 205 ff, 355 ff, 546 ff. 7 Friburgi, i88o. 

8 Das Salomonische Spruchbuch, Mainz, 1879, P- 21- and 385 ff. 

* Le Livre des Psaumes, Paris, 1883, p. 23 ff. 

"> Commentar. in lib. Job, Parisiis, 1885, p. 18. n Manuel bibl. ii. p. 203 ff. 

12 Psalmorum liber in versiculos metrice divisus, Cum dissertatione de antiqua He- 
braeorum poesi, London, 1736. 

Scripture Poetry. C7 

should coincide with the division of the sense. Lowth/ in his 
matter-of-fact criticism, felt bound to reject Hare's system 'entirely, 
and ever after it was " to dumb forgetfulness a prey." The post- 
humous work of Le Hir ' presents, in the essay preceding the 
translation of Job, a system of scanning almost identical with the 
system now under consideration. Had the modest priest of Saint- 
Sulpice lived he would, no doubt, have succeeded in explaining all 
our sacred poetry accordingly. 

The historical outlines of this system being clear, we may pro- 
ceed to illustrate it by a few instances taken more or less at ran- 
dom from Prof. Bickell's work. We shall give the transliterated 
Hebrew text, only remarking that the consonants are pronounced 
as in English, the pronunciation of the vowels being like the con- 
tinental European pronunciation: 

Psalm 150. 
Hallelu el bekodsho — Praise ye the Lord in his holy place : 
Halliihu birki 'uzzo — Praise ye him in the firmament of his power. 
Halluhu big'bur6thar — Praise ye him for his mighty deeds : 

Halliihu K'robgudlehu — Praise ye him according to the multitude of his greatness. 
Halluhu b'theka' shorar — Praise ye him with sound of trumpet : 
Halluhu b'n6bel v'kinnor — Praise ye him with psaltery and harp. 
Halluhu b'thof umachol — Praise ye him with timbrel and choir : 
Halluhu b'minnim v'uggab — Praise ye him with strings and organ. 
Halluhu b'zilz'le shama* — Praise ye him on high sounding cymbals : 
Halluhu b'zilz'le th'rua' — Praise ye him on cymbals of joy. 
Kol hann'shama t'hallel yah — Let every spirit praise the Lord. 

We notice, at once, that each Hebrew line consists of seven 
syllables, and that the feet are of the iambic movement. The psalm 
is, therefore, rightly called iambic heptasyllabic. Wherever a little 
accent, curved from right to left, is placed between two vowelless 
consonants, the intervening vowel of the Massoretic text is sup- 
pressed, a perfectly allowable process according to the canons of 
Syriac metre. In the scanning of the Psalms, Bickell found it 
necessary to reject in this way about 1600 vowels ; he had to omit, 
also, 1550 syllables of the common Massoretic reading, and to 
add about 1070.^ We must, however, remember that in many of 
these instances the change is owing to the fact that two gram- 
matical forms express the same relation. Thus, 6 is often ex- 
changed with ehu, both being the pronomial affix of the third 
person, masculine, singular. The biblical parallel passages, too, 
serve to lessen the shock we experience at first hearing of so many 
changes. The 17th Psalm, for instance, though a mere repetition 

1 De sacra poesi Heb., Lips. 1815, p. 403 and p. 699 ff. 

2 Le livre de Job, Paris, 1873. 

3 Innsbrucker Theol. Zeitch., 1882, p. 789 ff. 


American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

of 2 Kings, 22, changes ^6 words, omits 19, adds 15, transposes I, 
and transposes, also, a line. Bickell, in scanning Psalms 33, 34 and 
76, changes only 6 and omits 6 words ; in Psalm 78, 1-50 (a), he 
changes 4, omits 13, and adds 3 words ; in Psalms 105 and 26 he 
changes 3, omits 12, and adds, 5 words ; in Psalms 147-150, and 
24, 7-10, he changes 4, omits 4, and adds 5 words; in Deut. 32, 
1-35, he changes 5 and omits 2 words, and transposes a line; in 
Job 38, 2-39 and 15, he changes 5, omits 3, adds 4, and transposes 
I word; in Proverbs 10, i-ii and 23, he changes 2 and omits I 
word. It must be remembered that each of these seven instances 
is exactly equal to Psalm 17 and 2 Kings 22, i.e., consists of 112 
heptasyllabic lines, and that proposed emendations which do not 
influence the metre must not be brought as arguments against the 
metrical system in question. On the whole, then, not one-ninth 
of the number of changes found in the cited parallel passages of 
the Bible is required to render possible an exact scanning of the 
sacred poems according to the rules of Syriac metre. 

Setting aside, therefore, all anxiety for the integrity of our sacred 
text, we may consider a few more instances, illustrating the same 
metrical principles. Psalm 18, 8-1 5, presents a beautiful example 
of compound metre. Each stanza consists of four iambic verses, 
the first and third of which are heptasyllabic, the second and fourth 
quadrisyllable : 

1. Torath yahveh temima 
Meshibath nap'sh 
'Eduth yahveh ne'mana 
Machkimath p'thi 

2. Piqqude yahveh y'sharim 
Mesamm'che leb. 
Mizvath yahveh beru6a 
M'irath 'enaim. 

1. The lau' of God is holy, 
Converting souls ; 

The word of God is faithful, 
Instructing fools. 

2, God's justices are righteous, 
Rejoicing hearts. 

The law of God is lightsome, 
Enlightening eyes. 

It may be interesting to know that the Syriac poet Cyrillonas 
has employed the same metre and stanza. 

In the last place, we add a specimen of a more artificially con- 
structed stanza found in Psalm 5. Each stanza consists of six 
iambic lines, the first, fourth, and fifth being heptasyllabic, the sec- 
ond quadrisyllabic, the third hendecasyllabic, the sixth euneasyl- 
labic. The Psalm reads: 

'Marai ha'zina, yahveh 

Bina h'gigi. 

Haqshiba rq6l shavi', malki 

vel6hai ; 
Ki ethpallel el6cha. 
Yahveh, boq'r tishma 'q6li ; 
Boq'r ^roch Ifecha vaazappe. 

Give ear, O Lord, to my words. 

And hear my cry. 

My king and God ! O, hear the voice 

of prayer, 
My prayer to thee ascending. 
My morning prayer hear thou, 
At morning, when I stand before thee. 

Scripture Poetry. eg 

2 Ki 16 el chaphez rash"ta; 2. Thou art not God of evil, 

Lo y'gurcha ra'. Sin is not thine. 

Lo yithyazz'bu hol'lim lenag'd And sinners shall not dwell before 

'enecha ; present ; 

Sanetha kol po"le av'n. Thou hatest the ungodly, 

Teabbed dobre chazab ; Destroyest all deceivers. 

Ish damjm v'emirma y'tha'eb yahveh. God hates the cruel and deceitful. 

Stanzas like these invariably remind one of the strophes and 
antistrophes of Greek choruses. 

We must not imagine, however, that all difficulties have been 
successfully overcome. The many changes of the Massoretic text 
necessary to scan the sacred poems according to the principles of 
verse just indicated, is in itself a serious stumbling-block, opposing 
the progress of the new system ; the difficulty increases when a 
change of sense is necessary that influences the dogmatic value of 
a passage. If the words of Psalm 44, 7, "Thy throne, O God, is 
for ever and ever," from which St. Paul^ draws an argument for 
the divinity of Christ, have to be changed to " the foundation of 
thy throne is firm ; the Lord hath strengthened it forever and 
ever," as Prof Bickell changes them, the new system destroys St. 
Paul's argument, and must, therefore, be abandoned. Nor can we 
approve of the plan of Father Gietmann,^ who allows fewer changes 
of the Massoretic text, but does not insist on the verse divisions 
coinciding with the sense divisions. Parallelism would thus be 
destroyed. If, then, the canons of Syriac metre really are the 
laws of Hebrew verse, there must be away of applying them with- 
out injuring either the dogmatic value of the sacred text or its 
beautiful parallelism. Let us hope that Professor Bickell may 
soon be able to analyze all Scripture poems, avoiding both incon- 
veniences. Meanwhile we must be grateful to the special students 
of this branch for the light they have thrown on both sense and 
beauty of the inspired writers by their untiring endeavors. 

1 Heb. 1,8. 2 De re metrica Heb., Friburgi. 1880. 

6o American Catholic Quarterly Review. 


Records of the English Province SJ. By Henry Foley, S.J. 

English Catholic Hierarchy. By W. Maziere Brady. Rome. 1877. 

Life of Bishop Milner. By Provost Husenbeth. Dublin. 1862. 

History of the Church in England. By Canon Flanagan. London. 1857. 

Historical Memoirs. By Charles Butler, Esq. 2d ed. London. 1819. 

Supplementary Memoirs. By Dr. Milner. London. 1820. 

Collections, etc. By V. Rev. George Oliver, D.D. London. 1857. 

Collectanea S.J. Exeter. 1838. 

Archdiocesan Archives. Baltimore. 

Catholic Directory. London, 1802. 

The Life and Times of Archbishop Carroll. By Dr. John G. Shea. New 

York. 1888. 
History of the Royal Society. By C. R. Weld, London, 1837. 

IN St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, is preserved a Latin docu- 
ment, endorsed " Certificate of Consecration at Lulworth 
Castle of J. Bp. of Balf^ August 15th, 1790."' This year will 
witness the first centenary of the erection of the metropolitan 
See of the United States. To the many who are interested in 
the early days of the American Church, a translation of this 
document, together with some details illustrative of the memorable 
scene of which it is the simple record, will, we hope, be not un- 

Done into English, the certificate is, substantially, as follows : 

" By these presents we testify that, assisted by the Reverend 
Charles Plowden and the Reverend James Porter, priests, we did, 
in the chapel of Lulworth Castle, Dorsetshire, England, on Aug. 
15th, 1790, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, 
confer Episcopal consecration upon the Reverend John Carroll, 
Bishop-elect of Baltimore, the Apostolic Letter, given under the 
seal of the Fisherman at St. Mary Major's, November 6th, 1789, 
having been read, and the oath having been taken by the Prelate- 
elect, according to the Roman Pontifical. 
Given at Lulworth, August 17th, 1790. 

t Charles Walmesley, Bp. of Rama, V.A., 
t Charles Plowden, Assistant-priest, 
t James Porter, Assistant-priest, 

Charles Forrester, priest, Missionary-Apostolic, 
Thomas Stanley, priest." 

1 It has recently been printed, in Dr. John Gilmary Shea's new volume. 

Luhvoi'ih Chapel, Bishop Carroll and Bishop Walmesley. 6i 

At the time of Dr. Carroll's election to the Episcopate, his friend 
and former associate in the Society of Jesus, the Reverend Charles 
Plowden, was resident at Lulworth Castle, in the capacity of tutor 
to the sons of the proprietor. As soon as he got news of the ap- 
pointment, and he got them very early. Father Plowden wrote to 
the Bishop-elect. 

After tendering his congratulations, he goes on to say : " We 
wish to know where you are to receive the sacred character. We 
conceive that, considering the speedy and easy communication 
with this country, you will prefer a voyage hither to a trip to Que- 
bec or Havana. France is one universal scene of riot and confu- 
sion. Mr. Weld orders me to invite you to Lulworth Castle, 
where he will assemble three bishops to meet you. He will think 
his castle and new chapel honored by the consecration therein of 
the first bishop of North America." 

This letter bears no date. 

November ist, 1789, Fr. Plowden writes : " The present vacancy 
in the See of Havana will, we hope, be an additional motive for 
accepting our invitation to Lulworth, which is again earnestly 

April 4th, 1790, he says: ** I expect news of the arrival of your 
Bulls by the January packet, and of the measures which you mean 
to take for your consecration. We hope to receive your first 
Episcopal benediction in this chapel." 

Dr. Carroll, having decided to seek consecration in England, 
sailed thither early in the summer of 1790. In London, where he 
remained some weeks after his arrival, he received a letter from 
Father Plowden, who says : "Mr. Weld desires that you will not 
put yourself to the expense of a pectoral cross, as he has one ready 
to present to you which he hopes you will accept and like. It is 
rich, curious and respectable, formerly the property of the last 
Abbot of Colchester." 

On August 3d Father Plowden again writes : " Mr. Weld begs 
of you the favor to borrow two Pontificals in London, and bring 
them with you. Bishop Walmesley will be here next Thursday to 
stay some weeks. You need not, therefore, hurry yourself. 

But, three days later, he says : " Bishop Walmesley arrived 
yesterday. He is not well, and seems rather alarmed about the 
state of his health. He desires me to tell you ' that, not knowing 
what may happen,' he wishes you to arrive at the Castle, and be 
consecrated as early as may suit your convenience. I can only say 
that the old Bishop wishes that no time be lost." ^ 

The ceremony of consecration was performed nine days later. 

1 Dr. Walmesley was the senior Vicar- Apostolic, and Lulworth was in his district. 

62 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

on the Feast of the Assumption, with a degree of splendor unusual 
in those days. It was only in private chapels, like those at Lul- 
worth and Wardour, that the vestments and other appurtenances 
requisite for such a function were to be had. Even High Mass 
was rarely seen outside of London. Mr. Weld charged himself 
with all the expense incident to the occasion. His generosity is 
all the more worthy of remembrance from the fact that the houses 
of most of the distinguished Catholics in England were at that 
time closed against the Vicars-Apostolic. 

Mr. Weld was not able to assemble three prelates for the occa- 
sion, despite his promise to do so. Of the four Vicars, two had 
recently died, and the third was in poor health. In accordance 
with the tenor of Dr. Carroll's Bulls, Bishop Walmesley was as- 
sisted by Fathers Plowden and Porter, some time members of the 
suppressed Society of Jesus.^ Before the ceremony began, Father 
Plowden delivered his memorable address, a discourse in every 
way worthy the solemn occasion that called it forth. The preacher 
had grasped the full import of the scene about to be enacted. To 
our generation, which beholds the fulfilment of what he foretold, 
his words seem little short of prophetic. 

It was agreed upon between Mr. Weld and the Bishop-elect that 
the proceedings of the day were not to be made public. Never- 
theless, Father Plowden's sermon soon appeared in the local news- 
papers. A letter of his to Bishop Carroll dated Lulworth, Septem- 
ber 5th, 1790, explains how this came about. The discourse was 
published without the preacher's knowledge or consent. Bishop 
Walmesley, owing to his deafness, had been unable to follow the 
speaker, so, when the ceremony was over, he sent Father Forrester 
to borrow Father Plowden's manuscript for him. Before it was 
returned, somebody surreptitiously made a copy. 

The chapel of St. Mary of the Assumption at Lulworth is the 
sanctuary where our hierarchy took its immediate rise. It stands in 
the park, a short distance from the Castle. A description thereof is 
given in Hutchins's History of Dorset. But that description is, 
salva reverentia^ scarcely satisfactory. The following, drawn from a 
study of plans and photographs kindly furnished the writer by 
Miss Agnes F. Weld, of Lulworth Castle, will, perhaps, convey a 
better notion of the building than is afforded by Hutchins. It is 

1 In his edition of Palmer's " Church of Christ," New York, 1841, Bishop Whit- 
tingham, of Maryland, says, apropos of Dr. Carroll's appointment to the See of Balti- 
more : " There are very serious difficulties affecting the regularity and even the validity 
of the ordination of the above-mentioned Carroll, and all the Romish clergy of the 
United States derived from him, in consequence of his ordination having been per- 
formed by only one titular bishop, Dr. Walmesley, who appears to have labored under 
a similar irregularity or .deficiency himself." — vol. i., p. 286, note. 

LiLkuurth Chapel, Bishop Carroll and Bishop Walmesley. 63 

about seventy-six feet long by sixty-one feet wide. Externally, 
the central feature of the structure is a rectangle forty feet long by 
about forty-five feet wide, crowned by a dome and lantern. From 
the cornice at each angle springs a square turret capped by a large 
stone vase. The two transepts are of the same height as the ker- 
nel of the building, are in ground-plan sections of circles, and have 
domed roofs intersecting the central dome near its base. 

What one, judging from outside appearances, would take to be 
the altar-end, is really the vestibule. This, like the transepts, is a 
section of a circle, but of greater radius. The east end, where the 
sanctuary and sacristy are located, is rectangular, about twenty 
feet long by thirty-two feet wide. The chancel is a semicircle with 
a radius of twelve feet. But, as the altar-rail is placed some little 
distance in front of the chancel-arch, the sanctuary is sufficiently 
roomy. Like the vestibule and transepts, the chancel has a domed 
roof Its walls are decorated in the Byzantine style, and the church 
is ornamented by fine paintings brought over from Italy. The 
space roofed by the central dome is the main auditorium. The 
altar is magnificent. Bronze and gold, porphyry and rose alabaster, 
the rarest and most beautiful marbles are lavished upon it. 

The chapel is built of cut stone, and is of two stories. Over the 
porch, on the eastern gable, is carved the armorial shield of the 

It is of Romanesque design. Dr. Milner, who ought to have 
known better, calls it " Grecian." Though, of course, incompara- 
bly smaller, the chapel much resembles, in general outline, the Cathe- 
dral church at Baltimore. Cardinal Gibbons told the writer that, 
on his visit to Lul worth some years ago, he was quite satisfied that 
Dr. Carroll, when settling the plans of the Cathedral, was guided 
by memories of the shrine where he received the Episcopal character. 

The corner-stone of the chapel was laid by Thomas Weld, the 
pious and munificent master of Lulworth Castle, on Candlemas- 
Day, 1786. Under the stone was placed a brass plate bearing a 
Latin inscription, composed by Father Giovenazzi, S.J., the then 
librarian of the Altieri Palace. There is a family tradition, some- 
what obscure, however, that the founder of the chapel was also its 
architect. His portrait at Lulworth, which represents him hold- 
ing the plans of the building in his hand, would seem to confirm 
the tradition. But this, our informant adds, is uncertain. In its 
day St. Mary's, Lulworth, was, with perhaps a single exception, 
the finest place of Catholic worship in England. 

Charles Walmesley, O.S.B., titular Bishop of Rama, and Vicar- 
Apostolic of the Western District, is the link which binds the 

1 King George III. twice visited the chapel. "I speak," suid Dr. Milner, in one 
of the sermons he delivered at Lulworth, " within walls, equally known to and equally 
honored by Pius VI. and George III." 

64 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

Church of the United States to the Church of St. Austin and St. 
Gregory. He edified his contemporaries by his holy life. His 
memory was long held in benediction by those who were wit- 
nesses of his zeal and virtue. Moreover, he was celebrated through- 
out Europe for his literary and scientific performances. To-day, 
his career, both as scientist and priest, is quite unknown. Even 
Father Brennan makes no mention of him in his valuable book. 
What Catholics have done for Science. 

Some fifty years since, the publisher of the second American edi- 
tion of Dr. Walmesley's History of the Church undertook to sup- 
ply a biographical sketch of the venerable author. But, despite solici- 
tous inquiries, he was able to collect only a few facts of interest 
relating to him. The compiler of the present sketch, while per- 
haps more successful, has experienced no less difficulty than did 
the editor of 1834, for the Bishop's life was quite uneventful. '* His 
firmness in resisting innovation, his ability and integrity, his unre- 
mitting attention to official duties," entitled his memory to the 
grateful respect and admiration of those who knew him. But his 
work was mainly diocesan or parochial. The bulk of his corre- 
spondence relates to such matters, in which there is little to interest 
the ordinary reader. In Rome one would hope to find generous 
materials. But in the Propaganda Archives only two of Dr. 
Walmesley's communications are to be found. Both are holo- 
graphs, are written in large, clear, masculine characters, and are 
signed " Charles Eveque de Rama." All that can be gleaned 
from the records of the English College is briefly this : He was 
consecrated in the Sodality chapel there in December, 1756, and 
was for many years Vicar-Apostolic of Western England. 

He was born of ancient and pious stock at Westwood House, 
Lancashire, England, January 13th, 1722. Two of his brothers 
became priests of the Society of Jesus. He received his early 
education in the Anglo-Benedictine College of St. Edmund's, Rue 
St. Jacques, Paris. Here, at the age of seventeen, he, after one 
year's novitiate, was professed a monk of the order of St. Benedict. 
He was ordained in Paris, but just when, we have not been able to 

Ten years after his profession he was chosen Prior of St. Edmund's. 
After completing his quadrennium, he was summoned to Rome as 
Procurator of his order. Meanwhile he began to be known by 
reason of his singular ability in mathematics. In 1748, the year 
preceding his election to the priorate, he had won the applause of 
the French savants by his essay, La Theorie du Mouvement des 
Cometes. Together with this was published his commentary on 
Robert Cotes's Harmonia^ an important contribution to the early 
stages of Calculus. In the following year he published, also at 

Lidworth Chapel, Bishop Carroll and Bishop Walmesley. 65 

Paris, La Theorie du Moiivement des Apsides. He was chosen 
Fellow of the Royal Society of Great Britain, November ist, 1750, 
on the recommendation of such men as Buffon, Jussieu and D'Alem- 
bert. His certificate calls him a gentleman of very distinguished 
merit and learning. When the " Act for regulating the com- 
niencement of the year and for correcting the calendar now in 
use" was being drafted, Pere Walmesley's assistance was sought 
by the Government, at the suggestion of the Royal Society, backed 
by the personal influence of the president thereof, Lord Maccles- 
field. But no mention of the monk's share in the change of style 
was made in the prints of that day. The change from the Julian 
to the Gregorian calendar shocked the civic and religious preju- 
dices of the English, and the fact that a priest had anything to do 
with the Act would, if divulged, have rendered its passage more 
odious than it really was. In 1755 Pere Walmesley made his 
first contribution to the memoirs of the Royal Academy of Berlin, 
of which, as well as of the Institute of Bologna, he had, mean- 
while, been made a member. He had now achieved a continental 
reputation as a man of science. But his scientific pursuits did not 
detract from the regular and edifying performance of his duties as 
priest and religious. 

In the spring of 1756, in his thirty-fifth year, he was elevated to 
the episcopal dignity. The venerable Bishop York, needing a 
coadjutor, specially desired Pere Walmesley's appointment, he 
being " perfectly sound in body, and of pleasing and captivating 
manners." On the 6th of July following. Cardinal Spinelli, Prefect 
of Propaganda, wrote thus from Parma to the President-General 
of the Benedictines: 

" The election of Father Walmesley as coadjutor to Bishop 
York is no less an acknowledgment of his merit than a mark of 
the esteem in which your congregation is held. For myself, I am 
happy to have contributed towards it, and I do not doubt that the 
new prelate will equal the expectations that have been formed of 
his wisdom and virtue." 

The *' new prelate " was consecrated in Rome, December 21st, 
1756, by Cardinal Marcello Federigo Lante, the same, be it said, 
who gave episcopal consecration to Clement XIV. after his elec- 
tion to the Pontificate. In the following year Bishop Walmesley 
took up his residence at Bath with the Benedictine missionary 
who served the faithful in that city. In 1764, on the retirement of 
Bishop York, he became Vicar- Apostolic of the West. In 1780, 
during the riots at Bath, the new mission-chapel, the presbytery, 
the registers of the mission, the diocesan archives, the Bishop's 

VOL. XIV. — 5 

66 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

library and some valuable manuscripts were utterly destroyed.^ 
It is consoling to know that the leader in this disgraceful affair 
was, presently, capitally tried, condemned and hanged. 

In 1787 Dr. VValmesley took a house of his own at Bath, where 
he resided till his death. 

At the outset of his episcopal career his duties, as coadjutor, 
did not withdraw the Bishop from his beloved mathematics. The 
learned author of the Historical Memoirs of English Catholics, etc., 
is mistaken when he says that at, or soon after, his elevation to the 
episcopate, Dr. Walmesley gave up entirely his scientific researches. 
But Mr. Butler speaks to the purpose when he reproaches the 
English Benedictines that they have not given to the world an ac- 
count of the prelate's attainments. Such men as Sir John Leslie, 
Professor Playfair, of Edinburgh, and the late Professor Augustus 
De Morgan have written of him in terms of admiration. And 
Bailly, the celebrated astronomer-mayor of Paris, speaks repeat- 
edly and appreciatively of his brother-savant, Pere Walmesley, in 
his Histoirc de V Astronoinie Moderne (Paris, 1787). 

In 1758 the Bishop made his second contribution to the memoirs 
of the Berlin Academy — a treatise De la M'ethode des Differences 
et la Sommation des Series, 

It will appear, on a careful examination of the Phdosophical 
Transactio7ts, that Mr. Charles Walmesley, F.R.S., sent in but four 
papers during his forty-seven years of membership in the Royal 
Society. It will, furthermore, appear that Brady, Oliver and 
M. Le Glay are mistaken when they say that some of his astro- 
nomical papers were inserted in the Philosophical Transactions of 
1745 and the two succeeding years. Of the four papers just al- 
luded to> the first two were sent from Rome to the Astronomer- 
Royal about a month before their author's consecration. Both are 
written in Latin, are illustrated by complicated diagrams, and 
together occupy fifty-three pages quarto ; one is entitled, " ILssay 
on the Precession of the Equinoxes and the Mutation of the 
Earth's Axis," The other is, "A Theory of the Irregularities that 
may be Occasioned in the Annual Movement of the Earth by the 
Action of Jupiter and Saturn." Accompanying them is an intro- 
ductory letter in which the author explains his choice of the geo- 
metrical method of proof in preference to the method of Calculus. 
The third paper is in Latin, and was forwarded to the Astrono- 
mer-Royal from Bath, 1758. It is headed, "Of the Irregularities 
of a.SateUite Arising from the Spheroidal Figure of its Primary 

1 It now appears that the mission library at Bath was not entirely destroyed in the 
fire of 1780. A number of books, formerly belonging to it, and having Bishop 
Walmesley's autograph on the fly-leaves, turned up lately in a bookseller's shop in 

Liilworth Chapel^ Bishop Carroll and Bishop Walmesley. 67 

Planet." The Bishop apologized for the shortcomings of this 
paper on the ground of ill-health and press of business. 

The fourth and last and most voluminous paper — it covers fifty- 
seven pages, quarto— is a treatise " On the Irregularities in the 
Planetary Motions Caused by the Mutual Attraction of the Plan- 
ets." Like the other three, it is written in Latin. It was dis- 
patched from Bath to Dr. Morton, Secretary of the Royal Society, 
on November 21st, 1761. 

Some time after this date, we know not when, Dr. Walmesley 
renounced the study of mathematics. The following occurrence 
is said to have occasioned the renunciation. One day, while at 
the altar, he found himself so absorbed in the consideration of a 
problem that had suggested itself to him as to be tracing diagrams 
on the sacred linens with the paten. In deep contrition he at once 
forswore science. Thenceforward he gave himself to studies 
purely ecclesiastical, especially to the interpretation of Scripture. 
The first fruit of his new investigations was his History of the 
Chtirch, published in 1771, under the pseudonym of** Signor Pas- 
torini." It is an elucidation of the Apocalypse. It proceeds upon 
the theory that that mysterious book is a summary of the Divine 
economy regarding the Church from her foundation to her final 
triumphant estate in Heaven. The work was, in its day, very popu- 
lar, and is still in demand. An American edition was issued as 
early as 1807. 

According to M. Le Glay, " Correspondant de I'lnstitut " at 
Douai, the History won for its author from the Faculty of Paris the 
rank and privileges of a Doctor of the Sorbonne. Maziere Brady 
seems to think that Bishop Walmesley possessed this distinction 
before his elevation to the episcopate. But Le Glay says that he 
gathered the facts contained in his sketch from the monks of St. 
Gregory at Douai, and from unpublished letters. " Pastorini" 
was translated into Latin, F'rench, Italian and German. Nay, two 
German versions were made. But only Father Goldhagen's was 
printed. The history of the other is interesting. 

In 1778 Maur Heatley, Abbot of Lambspring, wrote as follows 
to the Prior of St. Edmund's at Paris : 

"Some time ago I translated '* Pastorini " into High German; 
but our bishop would not allow it to be printed in this diocese 
(Hildesheim). He objected much to the liberties taken by the 
author in his arbitrary explanations of the Apocalypse and ancient 
prophets, and desired me to have no hand in the printing of it. 
Wherefore, in my opinion, it would be more advisable and answer 
all purposes to have it printed at Strasburg, whence it would go 
through the whole empire by the different booksellers at Mayence, 
Frankfort, Bamberg, etc. ; if I can promote the affair with prudence 
I shall be ever ready to serve you or Mr. Walmesley." 

58 American Catholic Qtiarterly Review, 

Abbe Feller thought better of " Pastorini " than did the Bishop 
of Hildesheim. Writing in 1786, he declares that the book is the 
only good comment on the Apocalypse that England had till then 
produced. He calls it a learned and edifying performance, and 
says that the English nation is indebted to the author for his part 
in putting down the theories of King James and Newton. Learned 
and edifying the book unquestionably is. It was used by the mis- 
sionaries in this country more than a century ago with happiest 
results. Still we cannot help thinking that " Signor Pastorini " 
is now and then sufficiently extravagant. • His book occasioned 
a curious bit of Irish history. Dr. Doyle, the celebrated Bishop of 
Kildare and Leighlin, had, after strenuous efforts, almost succeeded 
in extirpating Ribbonism from his diocese. But in 1822 a new 
edition of" Pastorini " was published in Dublin. Somebody called 
the attention of the Ribbon leaders to an obscure prediction, or 
rather calculation, contained in the ninth chapter, to the effect that 
the fifth vial of Divine wrath was soon to be poured out upon the 
Protestant world. The report was industriously circulated, and the 
lodges began to revive in consequence. So great did the evil be- 
come that " J. K. L." judged it necessary to rebuke the popular 
credulity in his celebrated Pastoral of 1822 against the Ribbonmen. 
In 1778 EzekieVs Vision Explained was brought out. Writing 
on March i8th of that year, the Bishop says: 

"I am just now publishing a small performance, viz., an explan- 
ation of the first chapters of the prophecy of Ezekiel. It has cost 
me a good deal of meditation and pains at different times, for it has 
been for some few years past the subject of my thoughts. As to 
the merit of it, I leave it to take' its chances." In October of the 
same year he writes : " Critics may make whatever objection they 
choose to my books, and welcome. But I shall not take it upon 
myself to answer them. The task would be endless. I shall leave 
my works to take care of themselves." 

Almost the only trying episode in the Bishop's life was the con- 
test which, with his brother vicars, he waged against the Catholic 
Committee. His conduct in that unfortunate business was such 
as to merit for him the title of " The Athanasius of the English 
Catholic Church." 

In 1783 five laymen, without commission from any one, consti- 
tuted themselves a committee to manage the affairs of the Catho- 
lics of England. Their purpose was to effect the civil and relig- 
ious emancipation of their co-religionists, and, in particular, to do 
away with the then existing system of Church government by 
vicars-apostolic. The vain and presumptuous Charles Butler, of 
Lincoln's Inn, was the secretary of this junta. Beyond publish- 
ing their programme, the gentlemen of the committee did nothing 
for four years. At the end of that time they issued a circular let- 

Lulworth Chapel, Bishop Carroll and Bishop Walmesley, 69 

ter to their Catholic countrymen containing some remarks little 
short of schismatical anent the institution of the vicars-apostolic. 
The laity looked with distrust upon the proceedings of the organ- 
ization, seeing that the clergy were excluded from its delibera- 
tions. To remove this impression, two bishops, the vicar-apos- 
tolic of the London District and the coadjutor of the Midland 
District, were, together with the Rev. Joseph Wilks, the Benedic- 
tine missionary at Bath, invited to membership by the committee. 
The first mentioned prelate afterwards said that he joined to act as 
a check upon their doings. 

In order to prepare the mind of the British public against their 
intended application to Parliament, the gentlemen of the Committee 
laid before the Catholics of England for their signatures the so- 
called " Protestation and Declaration " — a solemn disclaimer of 
principles vulgarly supposed to be part of the faith of Catholics. 
This instrument, which purported to be drawn up by a Protestant 
nobleman, was full of errors, grammatical, logical, and theological 
The four vicars at first refused to sign it ; but they finally con- 
sented to do so after certain modifications had been made. Bishop 
Walmesley subsequently withdrew his signature, complaining that 
he had been tricked into subscribing. In round numbers only 
about 1600 Catholics signed the " Protestation." 

At the suggestion of Protestant friends, the Committee now 
proceeded to transform the " Protestation " into a " Protestation 
Oath" to be incorporated in the Bill of Relief which they were to 
introduce into Parliament. The " Oath " had all the errors of the 
original ** Protestation," and others beside. To subscribe to this 
document was bad enough, but the "Oath" was too much for the 
consciences of the faithful. To make matters worse, the Bill of 
Relief was so worded as to benefit only such Catholics as would in 
a court of justice declare themselves "Protesting Catholic Dis- 
senters." The Vicars-Apostolic, though ostentatiously ignored 
by the Committee, were watching closely all these strange pro- 
ceedings. They now judged it time to speak out. At Bishop 
Walmesley's invitation they met in synod at Hammersmith. An 
Encyclical Letter condemning the Oath was the result of their 
deliberations. In his own — the Western — District Bishop Walmes- 
ley followed up the Encyclical with a Pastoral explanatory of its 
provisions. Joseph Wilks, the missionary at Bath, already men- 
tioned as a member of the Committee, not only refused to read the 
letters to his flock, but spoke publicly against the synod.. Show- 
ing himself deaf to all expostulation, he was suspended by Bishop 
Walmesley in the following terms : 

" As you have evidently refused submission to the ordinances 
of the Apostolic Vicars, if before or on Sunday next, the 26th 
instant, you do not make to me satisfactory submission, I declare 

JO American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

you suspended from the exercise of all missionary faculties and 
ecclesiastical functions in my district. 

" Let this one admonition suffice for all. Carolus Ramaten., 

After a few months of contumacy Wilks submitted, and was 
restored. But having written a letter explaining away his sub- 
mission, he was soon deprived of his faculties for a second time. 
Dr. Walmesley's action in this matter occasioned, on the part of 
Wilks's friends, a tremendous uproar, the echoes whereof did not 
die out for several years. Prominent gentlemen and ladies strove 
in vain to induce the Bishop to reverse his sentence. Whereupon 
certain priests, known as the Staffordshire clergy, bound them- 
selves to make the suspended priest's quarrel their own. But all 
such interference failed of its purpose. For Dr. Walmesley's con- 
duct was applauded by the other vicars and by the Holy See. 

Not many months after the issue of the first Encyclical, two of 
the vicars concerned in its issue died. Butler and his associates 
schemed vigorously to secure the appointment of friends of the Com- 
mittee to the vacant positions. The lengths to which they went, or 
proposed to go, are astonishing. But the Holy See rebuked their 
impertinence by appointing Drs. Gibson and Douglas : which action 
nearly caused a schism. Thomas Weld invited the new prelates to 
come and be consecrated at Lulworth. And there, December 5, 
1790, Bishop Walmesley gave consecration to Dr. Gibson, who two 
weeks later performed the same solemn service for Dr. Douglas. 

The Committee being still defiant, Dr. Walmesley and the two 
new vicars prepared, before leaving Lulworth, a fresh condemna- 
tion of the "Oath." But before publishing it they made a last and 
vain attempt at pacification. The new Encyclical was answered 
with a scandalous, nay, blasphemous " Protest." Then the Bishops 
resolved to fight the Bill in Parliament. Dr. Milner was deputed 
to make interest with the members. So well did he succeed that 
when the Bill was brought in, decisive action was postponed on 
the ground that it did not voice the sentiments of the Catholic 
body. The Government chose to hearken to the conscientious 
voice of the Vicars-Apostolic rather than to the clamors of the 
Committee. Nor was the Bill passed till the obnoxious neologism, 
" Protesting Catholic Dissenters," had been withdrawn, and the 
still more obnoxious *' Oath " discarded. During this long strug- 
gle the old Bishop used to say : " I have asked my Master that this 
bad Oath may not pass, and He will hear my prayers." That the 
Catholics of England have kept their old and honorable designa- 
tion before the law, is due beyond any one else to Bishop Charles 
Walmesley. He did not live to see the end of the troubles of the 
Church in England. The system of lay interference in the eccle- 
siastical affairs of the English Catholics, inaugurated by Butler and 

Lulworth Chapel, Bishop Carroll and Bishop Walmesley. yi 

his friends in 1783, was for almost forty years afterward a source 
of disorders, divisions, and irreligion. 

Bishop Walmesley closed his long and well-spent life by a happy 
exit at Bath on the 25th of November, 1797, in the 75th year of 
his age and the fortieth of his episcopacy. He was buried in St. 
Joseph's Chapel at Bristol. The beautiful Latin epitaph which 
records his virtues and his scientific eminence was written by his 
friend, Father Charles Plowden. 

Bishop Walmesley was a man of very severe character. He 
was the last of the Vicars-Apostolic in England to allow his dio- 
cesans the use of flesh meat in Lent. He was much given to 
meditation on the four last things ; and in the company of his 
friends was wont to repeat the grim warning, " Adesse, festinant 
tempora." In his dealings with those who' sided with Wilks 
against him, he was perhaps unreasonably severe. One cannot 
help wondering what became of " the pleasing and captivating 
manners " that so favorably impressed old Bishop York. The 
following recital, drawn from a letter of Bishop James Talbot, will 
give a pretty fair idea of the repute enjoyed by Dr. Walmesley 
among his contemporaries. 

In 1779, when he applied for a coadjutor, he presented to Pro- 
paganda the names of three Benedictines. The Roman authori- 
ties were displeased. So they wrote to the venerable Bishop Chal- 
loner and begged him to answer these three questions : 

1. Does Dr. Walmesley really want a coadjutor? 

2. What do you know about the gentlemen he has named ? 

3. Is there no secular priest fit for the position ? 
Dr. Challoner answered : 

1. I do not think Dr. Walmesley really wants an assistant. 

2. The three gentlemen are unknown to me and mine. 

3. No secular could ever be agreeable to Dr. Walmesley, nor 
would any secular ever choose to be assistant to him. He con- 
cludes by suggesting that matters had better remain " in statu quo." 

Dr. Walmesley, however, got his Benedictine assistant, whom 
he consecrated at Wardour Castle with a splendor of ceremonial 
never seen in England since the days of Philip and Mary.^ 

A word or two about the priests whose names are appended to 
Bishop Carroll's certificate. They were all ex-Jesuits. Charles 
Plowden was the most distinguished of the quartette. He was 
born in 1743 of a good old English Catholic family, and entered 
the Jesuit novitiate at the age of sixteen. At the time of the sup- 
pression of his order he was imprisoned for about six months in 

1 The engraving of Bishop Walmsley which serves as the frontispiece of the Amer- 
ican edition of " Pastorini " is, in the estimation of those who have seen the authentic 
portrait at Downside, but a poor likeness. The Downside portrait represents him in 
the habit of his order and without episcopal insignia. 

J 2 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

Belgium. In 1784 he settled at Lulworth Castle as tutor to the 
sons of Mr. Weld. Ten years later he went to Stonyhurst, which 
was his home for twenty-three years. In 18 17 he was chosen 
Provincial of his English brethren. He died in France, June, 
1 82 1, while on his way from Rome to England. He was buried 
in the parish where he died, strange to say, with the military 
honors due to a French general. 

He was a universal scholar, and especially admired for his lit- 
erary ability. Let any one who doubts this read his address at 
Dr. Carroll's consecration. Eight of his published works are 
mentioned in the " Collectanea S. J." One of them, a pamphlet 
on the Papal Infallibility, is considered by Hiirter to entitle him 
to a place among the theologians who have deserved well of the 
Church since the Council of Trent. A letter to Dr. Carroll, 
wherein he states his intention of writing that pamphlet and narrat- 
ing the events leading to it, is to be seen in the archives of the See 
of Baltimore. " Indeed," says Dr. Oliver after summing up Father 
Plowden's literary labors, " his pen was never idle." It was he, 
by the way, who induced Bishop Walmesley to convoke the synod 
which condemned the " Protestation Oath," who was that prelate's 
ablest ally in the long arid bitter contest with the Committee, and 
it was he who prevailed upon Thomas Weld to throw open his 
castle and chapel for the consecration of Bishops Gibson and Douglas. 

Father James Porter, the other priest assistant, was born in the 
Low Countries, of English parents, in 1733. He entered the So- 
ciety in 1752, and eighteen years later became one of the professed 
Fathers. Renouncing a considerable estate, he led for many years 
the life ofa poor missionafy in Wiltshire, England. He died in 18 10. 

Father Charles Forrester, alias Fleury, was a Frenchman. He 
lived at Wardour Castle as missionary and chaplain from 1775 to 
1 8 10. He was an able, zealous, and amiable priest. When the 
Society was restored, he reunited himself to it. He died in 1825. 

Thomas Stanley had been for many years previous to Dr. Car- 
roll's consecration one of the household at Lulworth. He went 
to live there shortly after the marriage of his niece to Thomas 
Weld. He was born in 171 5, and became a novice in 1732. He 
died at the castle, full of years and merits, in 1805.^ 

1 The writer wishes here to tender his grateful acknowledgments to all who have 
helped him in the preparation of this paper, but especially to His Eminence Cardinal 
Gibbons; the Gustavo Conrado, Rector of Propaganda; to Dom Gilbert Dolan, 
O. S. B., of St. Gregory's, Downside, Bath ; to Father Reginald Colley, S. J., Rector 
of Stonyhurst; to Father Lennon, President of St. Cuthbert's, Ushaw, Durham; to 
Father Caswell, Librarian at Oscott; to Miss Agnes F. Weld, of Lulworth Castle; 
to Joseph Gillow, Esq., of Bowdon, Cheshire, author of the " Biographical Dictionary 
of English Catholics," and lastly but most cordially to his old friend of " The Moun- 
tain," Mr. Haldeman OConnor, who has rendered invaluable service by his researches 
in the British Museum Library. 

The Last Four Years in Belgium, 7^ 


THE lover of liberty turns his eyes hopefully to Belgium, 
where a brave struggle for the rights of the people, home 
rule, tolerance, order and religion has been rewarded with a mem- 
orable victory. As the latest developments of this struggle bring 
out clearly the real position of the opposing social and political 
forces of our day, a summary of more recent Belgian histo;-y has 
an especial interest and value. The facts tell more than one prac- 
tical lesson. 

Belgium won her independence in 1830. During the fifty- 
eight years that have since gone by, the Government has been 
almost continuously in the hands of a so-called Liberal party. 
The Conservatives held office from 1846 to 1847; from 1854 to 
1857; and again from 1870 to 1878. Carried once more into 
power by a great popular wave in 1884, they still control the Gov- 
ernment by a majority, both in the Senate and the Chamber of 
Deputies, so large as to make their position secure for many a day. 
From 1830 to 1846 there was little of party feeling in Belgium. 
Above all there was no organized anti-religious party. A liberal 
constitution guaranteed every citizen the largest freedom of 
thought, speech and action. In the hands of right-minded, patri- 
otic, liberal, progressive, far-seeing men, Belgium would long ago 
have been raised high above the nations as an exemplar of true 
liberty. But personal ambitions, the influence of revolutionary 
ideas and of the modern spirit of irreligion, the growth of a bad 
kind of Masonry, directed by men who accepted the radical teach- 
ings of the Italian, German and French lodges, in time divided the 
people, put the majority on the defensive, weakened the country, 
and forced it out of the way of true progress. In 1846 there was 
already an opposition party which, liberal in fact, was, for the sake 
of distinction from the ministerial party. Conservative in name, and 
Catholic. The ministerial party had dubbed itself " Liberal," but 
was Radical ; and that word meant then, as nowadays it means, 
anti-Catholic, if not anti-Christian. Partly on account of a want 
of unity, due to the mistaken importance given to certain questions 
that were assumed to involve Catholic principles ; partly on account 
of a lack of thorough organization, and an abundance of the spirit of 
laissez-faire that has long gone by the name of" patience" among 
Catholics in all countries; partly through a misapprehension of the 

74 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

real purposes and the audacity of those who masqueraded under 
the name of Liberals ; and, more than all, on account of the con- 
scienceless, lawless, revolutionary methods which the Radicals 
made use of, the • Conservative-Catholic party, which really repre- 
sented the country, was, as we have seen, almost continuously in 
a minority in the two Chambers. Up to the present day the Gov- 
ernment has been under their control for but sixteen years out of 
the whole fifty-eight of Belgian autonomy. 

As must invariably happen where the principles of a party are 
not based on religion, the tendency of the so-called Liberal party 
was steadily in the direction of greater and greater Radicalism. 
Power was by degrees more and more centred in the State. The 
liberties of the Provinces and the Communes were violated, abro- 
gated. Catholics were hampered, deprived of constitutional rights, 
and, indeed, denounced as unworthy of any freedom other than 
that which it might please their open enemies to concede them. 
The finances of the country were mismanaged, and the debt and 
taxes increased without any satisfactory return to the people. 
Worse than all, a propaganda, not of philosophical infidelity, but 
of forceful, riotous, anarchic irreligion, fostered by the very Min- 
isters themseh es, was actively at work among the people. The 
necessities of ministry after ministry compelled them to sacrifice 
the views of moderate men to the demands of the narrow-minded, 
the bitter, the blindly unpatriotic Radical wing of the party. Fi- 
nally, in 1879, Frere-Orban's School Law was passed, and a rude 
blow given to the liberties of the individual and the Commune. 
The education of the people was put under the absolute rule of 
the State ; and a compulsory system of irreligious teaching was 
forced upon the citizens, on the ground that the Ten Command- 
ments of God and the laws of the Church nullified conscfence. 

Of the bold, manly, intelligent and successful opposition made 
to this illiberal law, we gave some account in the pages of this 
Review several years ago.^ The people, awakened from their 
sleep, organized themselves in defence of the liberties guaranteed 
them by the Constitution, of their natural rights, of the Christian 
religion. On the other hand, the Radicals who had forced the 
Government into the ways of tyranny were more than ever auda- 
cious in their methods and exacting in their demands. They did 
not realize the temper of the people. But when the people were 
ready they made clear their purpose to be rid of the men who would 
have put them under the rule of a despotism. At the elections 
of May and June, 1884, the Conservative-Catholics, supported by 

1 "The School Question in Belgium."— Catholic Quarterly Review, July, 

The Last Four Years in Belgium. 75 

all the liberty lovers of the country, were carried into office with 
the remarkable majorities of 34 in the Chamber of Deputies and ot 
17 in the Senate. Before the elections they were in the minority 
by 20 votes in the Chamber and 5 in the Senate. This peaceful 
revolution has only gathered strength with time. The elections 
of 1886 gave the Conservative-Catholic party a majority of 56 in 
the Chamber of Deputies and an increased majority in the Senate. 
No ministry had ever come before the Chambers with a like ma- 
jority to back it. The events of the two following years only 
served to fix the people's confidence in a Conservative-Catholic 
ministry. Witness the elections of 1888, when the majority in the 
Chamber of Deputies was increased to 58, and that in the Senate 
to 33. And yet, if you remember, in 1884 the American journals 
were informing us that the "Clericals" were treading on dangerous 
ground, and that their opposition to Radical centralization was 
" iniquitous and inexcusable! " 

The ministry which came into office under Malou, in June, 1884, 
was not slow in giving back to the country the liberties which had 
been temporarily filched from it. Within six weeks a new School 
Bill, that recognized and guarded the natural rights of the parent, 
the constitutional liberties of the Communes, and the rights of 
minorities, was presented to both Houses. A month later the bill 
was passed and received the King's signature. The attempt of the 
Radicals to intimidate the Ministry, the Chambers, and the King, 
by mobs, riots and bloodshed, came to nought. The Ministry 
maintained the peace by firm, moderate measures. When the 
King, listening to the suggestions of one of the most radical of the 
ex-ministers, Bara, tried to force a compromise ministry on Malou, 
after the elections in the autumn of 1884, the Ministry rejected the 
proposal as a unit. When he requested the resignation of MM. 
Jacobs and Woeste, who had been active in drawing up and pass- 
ing the new School Law, they declined to resign unless under the 
exercise of the King's prerogative ; and as the King unreasonably 
exercised his prerogative, Malou resigned, saying to the King that, 
after fighting for the crown and the country against " Liberalism" 
and Radicalism for forty years, he was unwilling to seem to accept 
the King's line of conduct. Bernaert, who is still Premier, took 
Malou's place, and brought into his Cabinet M. Thonissen, the 
well-known Professor of Law at Louvain, and Caraman-Chimay, 
who had served of old under Conservative governments. 

The Radicals who called themselves Liberals, as well as those 
who, scouting the name Liberal, would be known only as Radi- 
cals, were not satisfied with the turn of affairs. They hoped that 
force would have helped them to save some of their bad work. 
But they counted without their host. The Conservative-Catholics 

^6 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

had given way to force, years before, in the interest of what was 
called the peace of the country. Now they had determined that 
there should be peace, not at the expense of the peaceful citizens, 
but rather at the expense of the law-breakers and revolutionaries. 
On the 1 8th of November, 1884, Frere-Orban, who could not hide 
his fears and his spite, asked the new Ministry whether the recent 
changes meant only changes of persons, or a real change of policy. 
And Bernaert seized the occasion to make his position clear before 
the country. The changes in the Ministry were, he said, due to 
the exercise of the royal prerogative ; on questions of principle, 
the present Ministry had the same convictions as the former Min- 
istry. The frankness and courage of this answer, with its direct 
defence of parliamentary government against the uncalled for in- 
terference of royalty, and its clear announcement of a definite 
policy in accordance with the wishes of the people as expressed in 
the election, had a far-reaching effect. The Radical-Liberals called 
off their professional agitators and rioters ; and the Government 
proceeded, with no uncertain hand, to put into execution the new 
School Law. Discussing this law, in 1885, we qualified it as "a 
just law," " a law of statesmen," a law " devised to meet existing 
conditions," a law " assuring freedom of instruction and protecting 
the rights of the minority." The eagerness with which the Com- 
munes availed themselves of its liberal provisions, and their satis- 
faction with its working, as shown by the popular vote at every 
election since its passage, testify to the correctness of our appre- 
ciation of the Malou School Law. No better evidence could be 
offered of the soundness of the Ministry's position and the malice 
of the riotous opposition to the law than that given by the action 
of the Radical-Liberals within a few weeks after Bernaert's manly 

A certain M. Buls, Burgomaster of Brussels, a forward Radical, 
and, of course, a forward Mason, founder of the political club called 
the " Educational League," had used his position to encourage 
the agitation against the School Law, the Ministry and the King. 
He it was who gave preference and precedence to the Radical 
demonstration against the bill ; he it was who permitted the mob 
to attack and maltreat the Conservative demonstration in favor of 
the bill, and for this he was publicly censured by the Senate ; he 
it was who organized the extraordinary league of Radical burgo- 
masters—these are not elective officers— who, in meeting assembled, 
swore a solemn oath to prevent the signing and execution of the 
new School Law, by every legal means ; he it was who issued a 
manifesto as late as September 15th, advising the world that he, 
and the burgomasters allied with him, would never cease using 
the threatened legal means against the law. By the 5th of Decem- 

The Last Four Years in Belgium. yy 

ber the terrible burgomasters, who had sworn the mighty oath, had 
come to an agreement to propose to their Communal Councils to 
place rooms at the disposal of the clergy, in which they might give 
religious instruction, out of school hours. The Radical Communal 
Council at Ghent had eaten its leek a week earlier. How bold 
they were when in power, these men of compromise ! When they 
were about to trample on the Constitution in 1879, Minister Von 
Humbeek voiced the views of all the roaring Buls : " The teach- 
ing contained in the ten commandments of God, and in the laws 
of the Church, is the absolute negation of liberty of conscience, the 
teaching of a sect ; on this account, from this time forward, this 
teaching would not be put before the pupils by the teacher ; it 
would be excluded from elementary education." And here, alas ! 
we find M. Van Humbeek excluded from the Government, and the 
Radicals violating whatever conscience they have, in order to ac- 
commodate the clergy who may wish to instruct the pupils how 
to '* negate " liberty of conscience, after school hours ! What a 
fine teacher adversity is ! - 

The Frere-Orban Ministry used the unpopular School Law to 
serve purposes not disclosed in the bill. Belgium had continuously 
held diplomatic relations with the Papacy. Failing to obtain the 
Pope's aid in the Radical attack on the Church, Frere-Orban had 
contemptuously withdrawn the Belgian representative at the Vati- 
can. In answer to an interpellation from the Conservatives on 
April 23d, 1884, about six weeks before the defeat of the Radi- 
cals at the polls, the Minister of Foreign Affairs declared that a 
renewal of diplomatic relations with the Papal See was impossible. 
Within three months from this date, on July i8th, Malou tele- 
graphed to Rome, proposing a renewal of diplomatic relations. On 
the 8th of August both houses passed a bill to that effect, and ap- 
propriated monies to meet the expenses of the mission. Mean- 
time Malou resigned. Under Bernaert the negotiations were com- 
pleted, and on March 30th, 1885, the Pope nominated the Presi- 
dent of the Ecclesiastical Academy, Monsignor Domenico Ferrata, 
as Nuncio to Belgium. Within eleven months after coming into 
office the Conservatives had performed the " impossible ! " 

But they had then done, and they have since done, many things 
possible and desirable. When the Conservative Catholic Ministry 
resigned in 1878, after eight years of rule, it left a well-filled 
treasury. The receipts exceeded the expenses by some ;^7,ooo,ooo. 
Evidently the Radicals looked upon a moderate surplus as a 
national evil. Within five years they had not only made away 
with the surplus, but had issued new loans to the amount of ^80- 
000,000, laid more than ;^5, 000,000 of new taxes on the people, 
and accumulated a deficit of ^13,000,000. The Conservative- 

7 8 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Catholics were quick to find a remedy against this comprehensive 
system of waste. Shortly before their defeat, on March 4th, the 
Radicals had presented the budget for 1885, showing a modest 
deficit of ;^700,ooo. The Bernaert Ministry brought in a new 
budo-et, based on other notions of official responsibility and public 
economy. As a result, the proposed deficit was turned into a sur- 
plus of ^400,000. The budget of 1886 showed a surplus of ;^535,- 
000; that of 1887 a surplus of ;^2,400,ooo. Meantime, the annual 
expenditures had been steadily reduced, and, in 1887, were ^3,000,- 
000 less than in 1884. The Radical love of liberty is too often 
apparent only in a free handling of the public purse. Under the 
management of the Conservative-Catholics Belgian credit was so 
strengthened that, in August, 1886, the Ministry announced its 
intention of refunding the national debt, which carried 4 per cent., 
into a 3j^ per cent obligation, and this operation has since been 
effected, with a saving of somewhat over ;^ 1,000,000 a year. To 
us who saddled ourselves joyfully with a debt of a couple of mil- 
liards — partly that we might know what it was to be blessed — and 
who think nothing of paying off ;^20,ooo,000 of bonds in a week, 
these little savings may seem hardly worth reckoning. But with 
the crowded and poorly paid population of Belgium every little 
counts. Every little counts here, if we only realized it ; and, in 
good time, we shall certainly have to learn the lesson that the rest 
of the world was forced to learn long ago. In Belgium strict econ- 
omy is absolutely necessary. Were there no such thing as patri- 
otism, or justice, or common humanity, the law of self-preservation 
would compel sane men to keep down the expenditure to the low- 
est point possible. The country is the most densely inhabited in 
Europe. When the first census of the new kingdom was taken in 
i83i,the population numbered 3,785,814. Since that date there 
has been a considerable Belgian emigration, and yet on the 31st of 
December, 1885, there was a population of 5,853,278. The rate 
of increase has been steadily higher than in any other European 
country. With this notable and regular growth of the population, 
and the declining prices for coal, iron, grain and cattle, true poli- 
ticians find themselves facing a problem which is to be solved only 
by the greatest prudence. 

Having in part undone the work of centralization which the Radi- 
cal Liberals had so boisterously pushed along, and having light- 
ened the burdens of all classes, the Ministry next sought the best 
means to give the people a larger voice in their own government. 
The policy of the Conservative-Catholics may be summed up in 
two words : Home Rule and Popular Representation. One would 
imagine they were liberals ! Strange to say, during the whole time 
the Radical Liberals held office, they were uniformly opposed to 

The Last Four Years in Belgium. 70 

any extension of the franchise. Nowadays, when universal suf- 
frage is assumed to be a cure for all political and social ills, we 
expect a Liberal to be somewhat radical on the question of man- 
hood suffrage. But the Belgian Radical Liberals were more than 
conservative on this subject. Up to 1885 there were only twenty 
voters to the thousand in Belgium. Of the total male adult popu- 
lation, one-thirteenth enjoyed the franchise. The exclusion of so 
large a proportion of the citizens from the right to vote was due, 
in part, to the Constitution, and, in part, to the system of taxation 
that had been long in vogue. There are three classes of voters in 
Belgium. Any citizen, paying taxes yearly to the amount of ten 
francs, may vote for members of the Communal Councils. These 
Councils control the police, the public works, and the public insti- 
tions of their respective Communes, and from among the members 
of these Councils the King selected the burgomaster, or mayor, 
and certain others to perform the duties of Aldermen. In order to 
vote for members of the Provincial Councils that exercise general 
powers over the nine provinces into which Belgium is divided, the 
citizen must pay taxes yearly to the amount of twenty francs. When 
it comes to voting for parliamentary representatives, the Constitu- 
tion is much more exacting. Only those can vote who pay a 
yearly tax of forty-two francs thirty-five centimes. This require- 
ment of the Constitution threw the control of the general govern- 
ment into the hands of a body of citizens relatively much smaller 
in number than that which directed the affairs of the provinces and 
communes. Any lowering of the constitutional limit of taxation, 
or alteration in the tax laws, would have increased the vote of the 
farmers. There are fully 800,000 Belgians directly engaged in 
agricultural pursuits. As skilful tillers of the land, and breeders 
of cattle, they are known the world over. The rare rate of increase 
in population is a proof of their morality, and the credit of the 
country testifies to their industry and frugality. The Radical 
Liberals feared the free expression of the farmers' vote. The party 
was not merely opposed to extending the franchise, but it sought 
to nullify the influence of the agricultural vote in the Provincial 
and Communal Councils, where it was more general by reason of 
the more moderate requirements of the laws on taxation and repre- 
sentation. To make this vote unavailing, to deprive it of its right- 
ful voice in local affairs, the Radicals tried to wrench from province 
and commune their constitutional and traditional rights, and to 
centre them in the hands of the general government, the least rep- 
resentative body in the kingdom. Was this policy based on an 
ardent love of liberty ? No, but on a love of power and a narrow 
spirit of illiberal, tyrannical intolerance. The farming class is not 
irreligious, and it is conservative, orderly, Cathohc. 

So American Catholic Quarteny Review, 

The Frere-Orban ministry was opposed to any extension of the 
franchise ; the Radical doctrinaires, philosophers and press were 
opposed to the extension of the franchise, and, of course, the Bel- 
gian lodges would have none of it. Universal suffrage would have 
fixed the Catholics in power for an indefinite period. But the 
Catholics had no desire to force the question. In the actual posi- 
tion of parties nothing could be done. To have manhood suffrage 
the Constitution would have to be revised. A revision of the Con- 
stitution can be effected only by a vote of both houses, dissolu- 
tion, a new election and an adoption of proposed amendments by 
a two-thirds vote in the house and the senate. As parties stood, 
the Conservatives could do nothing to bring on universal suffrage. 
Nor, indeed, could the Radical Liberals. However, they could 
have widened the suffrage without a revision, had they not feared 
the consequences. Towards the end of its last lease of power, the 
party found itself in straits. The Radicals of a few years back had 
been distanced by a new set of Radicals. These were republican, 
socialistic, anarchist. They wanted universal suffrage, because they 
could not get it. Their purpose was one of agitation, disturbance, 
revolution. To give way to them, meant the destruction of the 
so-called Liberal party, the overturning of the Ministry, and a new 
order of things. But the case was desperate. Even were the party 
united, it was plain that the people were aroused, and meant to 
bury the Radical Liberals deep down under their own folly. The 
Ministry conceived a specious scheme, by which they hoped to 
pacify the real Radicals, to blind the friends of liberty, and to cre- 
ate a fictitious Radical Liberal majority. As it happened, they 
only dug a deeper pit for themselves. Frere-Orban brought in a 
law extending the franchise. This law gave a vote to certain 
classes of employees and officials, regardless of the payment of 
taxes ; and, further, made a distinctive class of non-taxpaying 
voters out of those who should receive a diploma after a govern- 
ment examination — a sort of " civil service " voting class. This 
scientific extension of the franchise was skilfully qualified by regu- 
lations forbidding non-commissioned officers and soldiers to vote, 
while serving with the colors, and providing that the clergy should 
vote at the places zvhere they lived before entering the ministry. The 
purpose of this bill is evident. It was not meant to enlarge the 
franchise ; but it was meant to increase the Radical-Liberal vote 
and to diminish that of the Conservatives. This piece of petti- 
fogging politics did not work as expected. After all, a man may 
have a diploma, and, at the same time, a sense of honor, justice 
and patriotism. So the event proved. 

In January, 1885, the Bernaert Ministry gave notice of their 
intention to introduce a bill extending the franchise. They kept 

The Last Four \ears in Belgium, 8 1 

their word ; and since that date they have not only taken care that 
the Senate and Chamber of Deputies shall more truly represent 
the people, but they have divested the Crown, or the Ministry, of 
certain rights heretofore exercised by one or the other, to the ex- 
clusion of the Provincial or Communal Councils. Nowhere has 
the principle of "home rule " received a heartier acknowledgment 
than in Belgium under a Catholic-Conservative government. 

They have no income tax in Belgium. Hence the status of the 
parliamentary elector, paying 42 fr. 35 ct per annum, depended on 
the legal methods of apportionment of several special taxes. 
Since, by the requirements of the Constitution, only those could 
vote who paid a definite sum of taxes, extension of the franchise 
was possible, at the moment, only through a redistribution of taxa- 
tion. The position was a difficult one. Seldom does an occasion 
present itself when a class that escapes taxation is desirous of 
assuming a new share of the taxes. The country, however, appre- 
ciated the difficulty ; knew that the country alone was to blame 
for the actual state of things ; and was not only willing, but de- 
sirous, that the Ministry should enlarge the franchise by the best, 
and only practicable, means. To meet the wishes of the people, 
the Ministry, on July loth, 1885, introduced a bill which placed 
the whole of the land tax on the tenants. This bill was passed on 
August 1 2th of the same year; and Belgium took its first step 
forward in the path of popular representation. Hereafter, the son 
of the soil, the sturdy farmer, who pays a goodly share of taxes 
out of his hard earnings, will stand on a level with the townsman 
who pays no taxes, but, in lieu, patriotically bears the yoke of a 
government diploma. 

The Machiavellian regulations of the Frere-Orban ministry, 
which practically disqualified military officers, clergymen, com- 
mercial travellers, boatmen, and other business men who had more 
than one residence, or place of business, were so modified as to 
assure the franchise to the honest voter. These democratic 
measures were hotly opposed by the Revolutionaries and the 
Radical Liberals. That the ministry would have gone much fur- 
ther in its acknowledgment of popular rights, were it not for the 
untoward events of 1886, is apparent from the bill adopted on 
November 24th, 1887, by which the right of appointment of the 
aldermen was taken away from the King, and put in the hands of 
the communal councils. The King still nominates the burgo- 
masters, or mayors; but, even so, the government of the Belgium 
communes approaches more nearly to the ideal of " home rule," 
is freer, more popular, more democratic-republican, than that of 
many of our American cities. 

The open, fair, progressive temper of the Catholic-Conservative 
VOL. XIV. — 6 

82 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

party is again emphasized by the bill introduced by the Bernaert 
ministry, on January 24th, 1888, a bill which the Chamber of 
Deputies forthwith resolved to take into consideration. This bill 
is in the interest of minorities, and, by a system of proportional 
representation, assures minorities a voice in public affairs. There 
is such a thing as true radicalism — a going to the root of things 
as they are. Compare it with that immoral, disorderly, indecent, 
blasphemous, contemporary thing called " Radicalism " ; and then 
let all but knaves, fools, and madmen take their choice. 

During its long years of rule, the Radical Liberal party, while 
showing a thorough contempt for the rights of the people, for 
liberal government, for progress, had endeavored to lower the 
moral standing of the townspeople, to divide class against class, to 
enforce the spread of ideas subversive of all law and all peace. 
It was with this object that they strove " to drive out the Catholic 
religion from elementary education." But while the Catholic re- 
ligion was the one they selected for their attacks, their real object 
was the total repression of all Christian teaching whatever. As 
one of their forward spokesmen announced, they wished " to secu- 
larize heaven as well as the earth " ; " to do away with Christian 
spiritualism, the terrors of a future life, the pre-occupation with 
an imaginary salvation." Unfortunately they succeeded to a cer- 
tain extent, especially among the workingmen. When the Frere- 
Orban ministry was thrown out of power, it took the leaders some 
months to realize that their case was hopeless. Then the less 
radical element, or to put it more truly, the element that retained 
a longing for the offices, and was practical enough to know that 
these were not to be reached by the road of the Irreconcilables, 
undertook to reorganize the Radical Liberal party. Many who 
were ready to go to any length when in power, now pleaded for 
what they called moderation. But the true blue Radicals, under 
Janson, President of the Brussels Liberal Association, refused to 
give up an iota of their " principles." The Radical Liberal party 
was split in twain ; and split it is until this day. Negotiations 
begun from time to time, generally during the election campaigns, 
have all come to nothing. Recrimination has been the order of 
the day. Meantime Janson's activity was not without effect. 
Around him he rallied a party made up of " secularized " demo- 
crats, who want a republic ; of labor reformers, socialists, 
anarchists — bond fide revolutionaries. Thanks to the good will, 
and the unremitting propaganda, of their French and German 
brothers, the Belgian workingmen, more especially the factory 
hands, miners, and workers in the large industrial establishments, 
have been won over to the worst forms of socialism. The army, 
too, has proved a good nursery for these pernicious teachings. 

The Last Four Years in Belgium, 83 

How wide an influence they had gained, how thoroughly a large 
body of poor men had been indoctrinated with the idea that force 
was a fair and serviceable means of attaining an end not bad in 
itself— and this they had been practically taught by the organized 
system of riots which the Radical Liberal party had used as a 
political means for nigh on to twenty years — how deeply the 
Radical Liberal press, and the un-Christian lodge and school, had 
undermined the public morals, was brought to light only in 1886. 
The history of the greater part of that year is a painful record 
of riots, incendiarism, murder, ruthless destruction of private 
property, and forcible repression. Whatever reasonable occasion 
there may have been for local strikes, or whatever ills the working- 
men of particular sections may have had just reason to complain 
of, there is strong evidence that the movement begun in Brussels 
on March i8th was a deliberate, organized movement, managed by 
the native and foreign socialist leaders. The i8th of March is the 
sad anniversary of the Paris Commune. On that day, at Brussels 
as well as at Liege, there was a commemorative demonstration of 
workingmen. The Brussels contingent paraded the streets, with 
banners, and flags, and noisy cries. Some shop windows were 
smashed; there were inflammatory speeches, of course ; and there 
the matter ended. At Liege the celebration was of a heartier 
character. There the " workingmen " flung the red flag to the 
breeze, and encouraged peaceful citizens with shouts of ** Down with 
Capital," " Death to the Bourgeois^ The celebrants carried sticks, 
and, at a given signal they broke ranks, made their way into the 
shops, plundered right and left, and then took to wrecking. By 
the 2 1 St the men in the collieries near Liege had begun to go out 
on strike. Bands of strikers robbed in broad daylight, and de- 
stroyed what they could not carry away. Meantime socialist 
meetings were held at Brussels, the men attending them being all 
armed with revolvers. By the 29th of the month there was a 
general strike throughout the whole district extending from Liege 
to Tournai, along the French border. The men in the coal mines 
and stone quarries, iron-workers, glass-workers, workers of all sorts, 
had laid down their tools, some willingly, some whether they would 
or not. From the revolutionary press they received every encour- 
agement. The socialist leaders were active indirection. Placards 
were posted up recommending that the men should go armed to 
their public meetings. Liege, Namur, Charleroi, Mons, Tournai, 
were all centres of disturbance. The farmers were forced to pay 
cash indemnities to strikers ; shops were sacked ; blast furnaces 
extinguished ; the great glassworks of the Hainault district pillaged 
and burned, one after the other. Country seats, chateaux, colleges, 
convents, were fired. There was a plentiful supply of petroleum 

§4 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

and beer. Axes, bludgeons, revolvers, were used effectively by 
the mob, and many lives were taken. Town upon town was in an 
actual state of siege. 

The movement was wholly unexpected ; but the Government 
was prompt in taking measures to preserve the peace. It did not 
interfere, however, until events proved that neither police, gens- 
darmes, nor civic guards, could deal with the rioters. On March 
28th a state of siege was proclaimed throughout the districts 
covered by the strike, and general orders were given to fire without 
hesitation on all rioters. The army reserves of 188 1, 1882, were 
called out, and the soldiery, under General Vander Smissen, took 
the strikers in hand. He adopted drastic measures. They were 
appreciated. By the 31st of the month work had been resumed 
at most of the collieries and factories ; and on the 7th of April the 
General was able to announce that order had been re-established. 
The strikes had not been settled. There was a constant force at 
work in the interest not of the workingmen, but of political 
agitation. New strikes were common, week after week, up to the 
1st of September. One day the quarrymen struck at one place, 
returned to work in a week or two ; after a few days struck again. 
The next day it was the miners' turn. Sometimes the strikes were 
by districts ; then, at odd places wide apart. 

A review of the political side of the strikes may prove interest- 
ing. No sooner had the celebration of the anniversary of the 
Paris Commune ended than the Radicals, Socialists, and Anar- 
chists opened a sympathetic campaign. Brussels of course was 
the headquarters. There they held nightly meetings and proces- 
sions. The King was loudly abused from the platform. A pro- 
cession marched to the palace, to sing the Marseillaise under the 
King's windows. The strikers and rioters were applauded. Out- 
side help was generous in its sacrifices. Foreign revolutionaries 
crowded into the capital. Early in the movement, Henri Roche- 
fort, and Laguerre, the Paris Socialist Deputy, came to offer their 
services. But the Government was not sympathetic, and warned 
them to keep on their own side' of the border. The Radical press 
directed and encouraged the rioters ; denounced the coal and mine 
operators, and the manufacturers, as men gorged with profits, and 
deservedly pillaged ; reproached the government for keeping the 
peace, and demanded that the state expropriate the present owners, 
intrust the working of the coal mines to syndicates of colliers, and 
introduce universal suffrage. Indeed the whole movement was, 
apparently, engineered with the idea of forcing universal suffrage 
by means of a reign of terror. On April 25th five hundred dele- 
gates, representing 104 societies, held a " Workmen's Congress," 
at Brussels. As a result of this meeting, the secretary of the 

The Last Four Years in Belgium. gq 

"Belgian Workingmen's Party" notified the Burgomaster of 
Brussels that the workingmen would make a demonstration in 
favor of universal suffrage, on June 13th, that they would to the 
number of from 80,000 to 100,000 parade through the streets of 
Brussels, and that, on behalf of the workingmen's party, he re- 
quested that the military should not be called upon to preserve 
order. M. Buls, the Burgomaster, who had, probably, learned by 
this time the risks of rioting, answered that under the circumstances 
he considered it his duty to forbid any public demonstration. The 
Government, on the 30th, gave notice that the procession would 
not be allowed. This was a costly set-back for the organizers of 
the demonstration, as money had been already distributed among 
the workingmen to encourage them to be present, and they had 
been furnished with pistols at the low price of two francs apiece. 
As the 13th of June approached rumors were rife in Brussels that 
the socialist leaders were preparing for a demonstration. The 
people took fright. Factories, banks, and shops were closed. 
But the alarm was false. The agitators were satisfied to show 
their power by inaugurating strikes, on that day, at Ghent, Char- 
leroi, and Seraing. There the red flag was unfurled, amid cries 
of " Vive la Republiqtiey A congress of workingmen issued an 
address to the country, advising that the workingmen's party 
should contest all elections, and proposing a general strike, and 
they gave notice of a " monster " demonstration to be held on 
August 15th, the Belgian national feast-day. Should this be 
prohibited, they threatened a strike throughout the length and 
breadth of the country on the day following. The Congress 
adjourned on June 15th. Here area few pearls that dropped from 
the mouth of the gentleman who made the closing speech. " To 
us belongs the State, with its laws and its powers. We will make 
of Belgium a paradise, and expel the priests, the exploiteurs, and 
everything else opprobrious and shameful." Evidently this 
thoroughgoing reformer had studied a Liberal Catechism, and 
thus failed to grasp the distinction between a paradise and a hell. 
Finally, these good brothers passed a resolution recommending 
that the Socialists should boycott the bourgeoisie. On July 4th the 
workmen's party made public a second threat of a general strike 
should the demonstration of August 15th be interfered with. 
Meantime the Radicals, Socialists, and Anarchists fell to fighting. 
The Socialists repudiated the Radicals — place-hunters they called 
them — who had heretofore been the directing spirits. The Anar- 
chists rejected both the other parties. Universal suffrage they pro- 
nounced mere flummery. The only cure for social evils, they as- 
serted, was revolution, and then anarchy. At last the long talked 
of day arrived. The Government fixed the route of the proces- 

35 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

sion; posted 6oo police and gensdarmes at fitting points; called 
out 6000 of the civic guard ; put the garrison of 6000 men under 
arms, and garrisoned the neighboring towns. The promised lOO,- 
ODO men numbered in fact only 15,000. They carried the red flag 
and the Phrygian cap instead of the national colors ; shouted for 
Amnesty, the Republic, and Universal Suffrage, and then, no doubt, 
followed the needless suggestion of the organ of the Ghent So- 
cialists, "to go to the public houses — there to discuss with the 
people on the premises the usefulness and necessity of universal 
suffrage." Certainly this " monster " demonstration was a poor 
return to the workingmen and the country for the seventy men 
who had been killed in the riots ; for the losses in wages, the de- 
struction of property, the increased local and general taxation. 
The glass industry was ruined, the communes were mulcted by the 
courts for extraordinary damages, the Government had to bring in 
a bill indemnifying private owners for grave losses. Prices rose, 
and the iron and coal interests lost their own market through the 
competition of the French and German mines. Numbers of na- 
tives and foreigners were jailed, indicted, tried, and condemned to 
lengthy terms of imprisonment. 

The Government did not wait for the settlement of the strikes, 
or the putting down of the riots, to show its honest interest in the 
condition of the workingmen. A committee of twenty-six mem- 
bers of the Chambers was appointed in March, 1886, to inquire 
into the condition of the working people, and to formulate and 
present such reformatory laws as might be found needful. This 
committee began its sittings in April, and has since, from time to 
time, reported many beneficial measures. 

The wages of the Belgian workingmen are low. Fortunately 
the cost of living is proportionately low. Our own coal miners 
have good reason to find fault in odd years. But, if report speak 
true, they have more reason to blame the operators than the Bel- 
gian miners have. There are 149 separate coal companies in 
Belgium. In the eight years from 1876 to 1884 one-half of these 
were operated at a loss, whose total amount figured up to 14,700,- 
000 dollars. The gross profits of the paying mines within the 
same period amounted to 18,500,000 dollars. Had the gaining 
operators paid off the losses of the less fortunate companies the 
total profits of the business of the eight years would have been 
less than 4,000,000 dollars, less than 2 per cent, on the capital in- 
vested. The year 1884 was especially unfavorable. While the 
miners received 56 per cent, of the gross income, the operators 
received only i per cent, and a small fraction. Had the whole of 
the profits been given to the miners they would have had a cent a 

TJie Last Four Years in Belgium. 87 

day additional. Besides the dulness of trade that has been felt 
the world over, the Belgian mines have had to contend with two 
special factors which time cannot modify — the competition of the 
French and German mines and the great depth which the Belgian 
mines have reached. Still there were abuses that could be reme- 
died. The " truck " system, no longer a benefit with our modern 
means of distribution, was found to be more extensively practised 
than had been supposed. The commission promptly brought in a 
law abolishing the system. And they have since passed a law ' 
forbidding a vicious custom that had come into vogue in the mines 
the employment of young girls. The laws presented and passed, 
in the interest of workingmen generally, are numerous. One 
makes it unlawful to pay a workingman's wages otherwise than in 
cash. Another makes inalienable two-fifths of a workingman's 
pay. Still another provides that, where town improvements make 
inroads on existing buildings, a certain proportion of the land 
expropriated shall be reserved for workingmen's houses. 

Alcoholism is the vice of the day, and the workingman's greatest 
enemy. Here we suffer quite enough from it. But a journey 
through Belgium would make a moderate American drinker think 
himself a total abstainer. A fair picture of the situation is given 
in the following extract from a Flanders journal, published in the 
London Times of Sept. i8th, 1888 : " The daily consumption of a 
workingman — not a drunkard — is, at 5.30 a.m., a '* worm killer " ; 
at 8 A.M., an " eye-opener " ; at 1 1 a.m., a " whip " ; at 2 p.m., a " di- 
gester"; at 5 p.m., a "soldier"; at 7.30, p.m., a "finisher." His 
yearly expenditure, without counting extra drinks on festivals, is 
219 francs — out of 800 to 1 200 francs." Should universal suffrage 
ever come to Belgium, a provision that this variety of workingman 
should cast his vote before 10.30 a.m. would not be amiss. Still 
the subject is too serious for even a passing joke ; and the com- 
mission, recognizing its seriousness, brought in several bills with 
a view to remedying the evil. By law the number of drinking 
places is fixed according to population. The right to sue for 
public-house debts has been abolished. The sale of liquor is for- 
bidden in disorderly houses. Every publican convicted of selling 
drink to an intoxicated person, or to minors, is punished with fine 
and imprisonment; and the same penalty attaches to every person 
found drunk in a public place.. 

In the interest of harmony between workingmen and employers, 
and of the peaceful development of trade, the commission passed 
a bill establishing " Councils of Industry and Labor," councils of 
conciliation made up of employers and employed. These councils 
have no legal standing as boards of arbitration. They are rather 

SS American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

standing committees of negotiation. In France they have done 
good service, and they are certainly an advance on " Strike Com- 
mittees," hastily appointed in times of excitement. Just now the 
tendency is to co-operation, or some Hke form of corporate organi- 
zation. To meet this tendency the commission reported in favor 
of Hberty of corporate financial association. 

Following Germany, though at a long distance, the commission 
brought in a law for the assurance of workingmen. Assurance is 
made obligatory, but the State takes no responsibility upon itself. 
The system is carried out by means of syndicates of workingmen 
and employers ; the State does not guarantee the operations of the 
syndicates. Giving an impetus to a system which she assumes to 
be necessary under the present conditions, the State leaves the 
working of the system wholly to those who are directly interested 
in it ; and here at least avoids the dangers of Bismarckian State 

Alcoholism is bad, but at its worst it is not so hurtful to society 
as "free love." The European laws that were made long ago to 
meet other social conditions are largely to blame for the debasing 
and mischievous system of concubinage which has developed 
among all classes, but especially among the workingmen. In Bel- 
gium, as in France, the law forbade a man to marry before his 
twenty-fifth year without the consent of his parents or guardians. 
And, in addition, the law had encumbered the ceremony of mar- 
riage with a number of costly formalities. Official inquiries made 
in France, as well as in Belgium, have proved that to these re- 
straints on lawful marriage the prevalent habit of temporary unions 
is in good part chargeable. Outside of any question of morals 
the State has necessarily a deep interest in the regularity and per- 
manence of the marriage tie. On this depends the very existence 
of the State. The Belgian Commission, having traced the social 
cause of the evil, promptly reported the facts, and the necessary 
conclusions ; and Woeste, the brave supporter of Malou and Jacobs, 
as good a deputy as minister, promptly brought in a bill doing 
away with the old-time requirements as to age and parental au- 
thority, and obliging the municipalities to furnish free of charge all 
the papers requisite for a legal marriage, where the parties to the 
contract were unable to bear the expense. Liberality in the matter 
of documents is vastly more commendable than liberalism in the 
more intimate relations of the sexes. 

The commission has dealt with many other details of the actual 
social life of Belgium. It has presented valuable reports on ques- 
tions not as yet touched by legislation, and it is still engaged in 
studying the immediate needs of society, with a view to the future 

The Last Four Years in Belgium. So 

as well as to the present welfare of the people.^ The Belgian Radi- 
cal revolutionaries did not look with favor on the appointment of 
the commission ; nor were they pleased with the reforms it so 
promptly introduced. Peace and concord form no part of the 
creed of Belgian Liberals, Radicals, Socialists, or Anarchists. At 
first they sought to prevent the workingmen from going before the 
commission to testify as to their grievances and their real condi- 
tion. There were, though, enough of sensible, law-abiding men to 
make the Radical scheme a failure. Then, as usual, an appeal was 
made to force — the strike and the riot. On January i6th, 1887 
the miners at Charleroi struck. In February a committee met and 
voted to order a general strike. No more was heard of this de- 
cision until the middle of March, when the miners and quarrymen 
in certain sections stopped work. These strikes lasted only a few 
weeks, however. In May the movement showed new life. The 
colliers began; the metal workers followed. Then the mechanics 
and others in the towns, and especially in Ghent, Louvain, and 
Brussels, lent a hand. The cry was for universal suffrage and 
amnesty to the convicted rioters of 1886. The true source and 
motive of the strikes was made plain by the address of the 
Workmen's League at Charleroi, which invited the support of the 
electors on the ground that the strike was essentially political. 
The old tactics were followed with some slight modern improve- 
ments. Of course, the gensdarmes were handled roughly, the re- 
volver played its usual part, and dynamite was freely used to de- 
stroy bridges and private property, and even to kill '^ brothers " 
who would not join the strikers. The German and French Anar- 
chists* were on the ground, as cheery, and charitable, and crack- 
brained as ever. They recommended that all industrial establish- 
ments should be blown sky-high. On May 26th the Committee 
on General Strike made a bold move. They sent a letter to Pre- 
mier Bernaert notifying him that if, by the 29th of the month, he 
had not decided to adopt universal suffrage, dissolve the Chambers, 
and call a Constituent Assembly, he alone would have to bear the 
responsibility for whatever calamities might occur. Meantime a 
Radical Congress gathered in Brussels, and on that fatal day, the 
29th, they debated the question of universal suffrage. A resolu- 

J To M. Claudio Jannet's articles, Les Faits Economiques et le Mouvemeni Social, 
which have appeared from time to time in Le Correspondanty the writer is indebted for 
certain details concerning the reports of this Commission. Temperately 'discussing, as 
they do, every phase of the economic and social movements of the day, these articles 
are of the highest value. A translation of them would be of real service to American 
workingmen and employers. 

CO American Catholic Quarterly Reviczv. 

tion favoring it was voted down. The largest suffrage the Radi- 
cals were willing to give was an educational suffrage — a very con- 
servative suffrage indeed. The bubble was pricked. Within a few 
days it had collapsed. The strikers returned to work, and partial 
peace reigned. Since that time there have been occasional local 
disturbances, but no organized general movement. When it was 
evident that the agitators had given up the fight, the Government 
showed its policy towards the rioters of 1886. As might be ex- 
pected, it was a policy of moderation. On November 8th the 
Minister of Justice announced that the Ministry purposed a large 
exercise of clemency in favor of the men convicted as rioters in 
1886. The extent of this measure appeared in the royal decree of 
December 4th, by which the terms of imprisonment of a number 
of the guilty parties were reduced about two-thirds. 

While patiently, prudently, courageously laboring for the liberty 
of the citizens and internal peace, the Conservative-Catholic Min- 
istry has been as careful of the defence of the country against 
external enemies. The geographical position of Belgium, border- 
ing on the two unfriendly powers, France and Germany, renders 
her liable to invasion at any moment. The smallness of her popu- 
lation, as well as of her army, makes it evident that, if she is to pre- 
serve her neutrality in case of war, and to hinder her two warlike 
neighbors from turning Belgium into a frightful battle-ground, she 
must be protected by a strong system of fortifications. In his 
instructive articles on the present European military conditions, 
Sir Charles Dilke pointed out Belgium's dangers and her weak 
points. The Bernaert Ministry saw the one and the other, and at 
an early day took up the subject of the country's defence. After 
careful consultation with high military authorities, the Minister of 
War designed a plan of fortifications along the Meuse, intended to 
secure the country from invasion on the French side, where it v/as 
peculiarly exposed. When the Government's proposal was sub- 
mitted to the Chamber of Deputies it met with a strong opposition 
from the Radical-Liberals under Frere-Orban. To explain this 
unpatriotic opposition is not easy. One would hesitate before 
charging the Radical-Liberals with a desire to expose the country 
to French invasion. However, the opposition was fruitless. On 
June 14th, 1 887, the Chamber of Deputies passed the Government 
bill. The Senate approved it on the 24th of the same month. By 
this time the great work is well on the way to completion. Meas- 
ures have been taken to arm these forts with the best modern 
cannon ; and the country will soon have the satisfaction of feeling 
that should either Germany or France force a way into Belgian ter- 
ritory it will not be chargeable to Belgian neglect. The importance 

The Last Four Years in Belgium, gj 

of these fortifications along the Meuse is confirmed by the foreign 
telegrams of the month of October, 1888. The French press de- 
nounces them as " excessive measures of defence." Madame J. 
Adam, who knows everything, charges that there is a secret treaty 
between the King of the Belgians and Bismarck as against France. 
There are rumors that the French Government " will soon present 
a note to the Belgian Government expressing surprise that, being 
assured that its neutrality would be respected in the event of a 
Continental war, Belgium should take such precautions." Anony- 
mous French staff-officers are writing letters to the press showing 
how unlikely it is that the Germans will want to attack France by 
way of Belgium, and how certain it is that France would not think 
of doing what Germany cannot be thinking of doing. Evidently 
the French would prefer to have the line of the Meuse open, or 
else they are busy strengthening some distant part of their own 
territory. And evidently the fortification of the Meuse was not 
begun a day too early, and cannot be finished a day too soon. 

In this review of the internal and external policy of the present 
Conservative-Catholic Government of Belgium, we have omitted 
many subjects of more or less interest to the student of modern 
political or social life. But the world runs so fast that whoever 
would deal critically with four years of government in the smallest 
of countries must needs write a book, and not an article. The 
course of Belgian affairs tells more of hope and suggestion to the 
lovers of liberty, moderation, prudence, justice, peace and practical 
politics than that of any other European nationality. Rightly the 
world should have but two parties : the party of liberty and progress, 
and the party of tyranny and retrogression. In the former party 
all the Christian elements of society would be joined, had reason 
or the spirit of Christianity, or even plain interest, full sway. As 
it is, they are divided by supposed interests, petty interests of de- 
nomination, dynasties, clubs and cliques. Were not the French 
royalists and imperialists of all shades so greatly exercised about 
corpses, living and dead, and about words that have ceased to 
have a meaning, true liberty would have made vast strides in 
France during the last quarter of a century, and the country 
would not now be compelled to consider a revision of the Consti- 
tution in the interest of persons rather than of ideas. Italians have 
been bound hand and foot by a policy whose wisdom it is not 
allowed to question, but which, for the time being, has been a try- 
ing one for the friends of good government and the largest free- 
dom. Let us hope that when diplomacy has solved the " Roman 
Question " — and it must in time solve it, unless European Govern- 
ments are anxious that the Italian people shall, like the Irish, take 

92 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

matters into their own vigorous hands — the sons of the men who suf- 
fered so much to free their country from the grasp of the foreigner, 
and who fought in the field and the forum for a unity of hearts, re- 
gardless of royal dynasties, may have learned from Belgium how to 
use wisely the government that must come under their direction, 
and how to accommodate themselves to realities. The sacrifice 
of principle can never be a question where the men who lead have 
only the public weal at heart Four years of Conservative-Catho- 
lic Government in Belgium have made this clear. To-day every 
individual or group that favors peace, material progress, moral 
well-doing, freedom and independence, stands firmly by the 
Catholic- Conservative Government. And the Government has 
been careful to recognize this fact. It has a right measure of the 
country and the times. When in October, 1887, Thonissen re- 
signed from the Ministry, warned by the weight of years, and 
anxious to finish his long-contemplated history of the criminal 
law before death had stopped him, the Ministry filled his place 
with a young lawyer, M. Lejeune, who was known as a moderate 
Liberal. In the work of African civilization, which now moves all 
foreign governments, partly from a spirit of civilization, partly 
from a spirit of enterprise, and not a little from a spirit of greed, 
Belgium has taken a leading part. Her king has been officially 
authorized to assume the Presidency of the Congo State, but Bel- 
gium has assumed no responsibility for the venture. Without seek- 
ing purely selfish interests, she has pointed and led the way of civil- 

Here, in the United States, the old spirit of liberty is strong. By 
father and son it has been nourished, cherished. North and South, 
East and West. But the spirit of disorder, intolerance, illiberal- 
ity, force, irreligion, socialism, revolution, anarchy, grows too rap- 
idly year by year. Counter to these harmful notions, encouraged 
by them, the no less fatal doctrines of centralization are making 
headway. Are Christians here to learn nothing from the past or 
the present ? Are they ready to sacrifice liberty, decency, religion, 
the future realization of the highest of human hopes and aspira- 
tions, on the altar of sectarian prejudices and foreign spites ? Seek- 
ing little things, will they lose their hold on the great things for 
which their fathers prayed and suffered ? Surely not. Let them 
lift themselves beyond the narrow bounds that limit religious and 
national prejudices, in great part the result of imperfect education 
and the hypocritical, selfish efforts of parasites and designing poli- 
ticians ; let them seek the ground of unity, and not the line of 
certain division ; let there be mutual sacrifice or independence in 
things not essential, but in essential things, where personal liberty. 

The Last Four Years in Belgium. 03 

common morality, the Ten Commandments, justice between indi- 
viduals, are at stake, let there be unity. 

To Catholics, as well as non-Catholics, the way of unity and the 
right method of dealing with the political and social questions of 
the hour have been pointed out by the Catholic-Conservative party 
of Belgium. In this little country the lovers of true freedom could 
rightly set up a statue of Liberty enlightening the world. 

We should not, however, pin our faith to any party or coun- 
try. The difficulties of a party really begin only when the coun- 
try has shown its full confidence in certain men and measures. 
Then ambitions, baser interests, jobbery, and the imaginings of 
the doctrinaire begin to be felt. Large majorities create a sense of 
security and a spirit of carelessness which in time lead to division, 
harmful compromise, or positive wrong. Judging the present 
Belgian Ministry by its past, we may have confidence in its integ- 
rity of purpose, wide vision and patriotism ; but time alone can 
tell what obstacles the makers of the new era may meet with from 
the men who now give them the most cordial support. Whatever 
the future, and there is every reason to have a still larger hope, let 
us learn the good lessons which the last four years of Belgian 
politics have taught all fair men who are willing to learn. 

94 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 


POPULAR agitation against Catholics in the United States 
seems to mark the years with double numbers, such as 1833, 
1844, 1855, and that which has just expired has done something 
to merit a place in the category. The agitation of 1833 culminated 
in the burning of the Ursuline Convent at Charlestown by a mob, 
and it is strange that, in half a century of progress, the most en- 
lightened city in the country still shows to the world that, in fifty 
years, it has learned nothing in some departments of human knowl- 
edge, and has thousands still slaves of ignorant prejudice, ready to 
be swayed and led on by fanatical appeals. The good people of 
Boston know a great deal more about electricity, early Greek art, 
the site of Troy, Egyptian antiquities, the mineral resources of 
America, methods of manufacture, than they did fifty years ago ; 
but in regard to the Catholic Church, its organization, doctrines, 
worship and polity, they seem not to have learned an iota. And 
what is true of that city, which boasts of its superior culture, is 
true of many other places. 

The intellectual attitude of the mass of non-Catholics towards 
us is one of the most curious problems in the world. When Catho- 
lics were few in this country, and foreign travel uncommon; when 
the Catholic religion was believed to be something that flourished 
in the Middle Ages, and disappeared in modern times ; when, as 
a Lord Chancellor of England, once, putting the whole matter for 
that country, declared that Catholics, in the eye of the law, were not 
supposed to exist in England, one could understand to some ex- 
tent that all knowledge about them might be supposed to lurk only 
among learned professors in colleges who studied the matter up 
in order to obtain a definite idea of the European nations during 
the Middle Ages ; but when every large city has, in its churches, 
colleges, schools and charitable institutions, evidences that Catho- 
licity is an actual and active reality ; when town and village show 
the same in proportion, it is amazing beyond conception that 
people will wallow in ignorance, or rest on the narrow circle of old 
wives' tales handed down by prejudice, rather than examine for 
themselves. Although Catholic books and periodicals can be had 
on all sides, they are never examined ; no effort is made to acquire 
information. Indeed, in many minds there is the latent, if unex- 
pressed, idea that Catholic books are imbued with a kind of witch- 
craft ; that they have some subtle power that blinds a person to 


Bostonian Ignorance of Catholic Doctrine. 95 

his better judgment if he touches them, and convinces him against 
his will and his reason. 

Nearly fifty years ago Catholics in New York, who had been 
deprived, for no fault of theirs, of a share of the school money, 
asked its restoration, showing that in the schools of the Public 
School Society, a private corporation which enjoyed the monopoly, 
there were books and teaching so imbued with hostility or con- 
tempt for Catholics that they could not send their children to 
them. The Protestant clergy rallied to the support of the School 
Society, every old charge possible was revived against Catholics, 
and a new one, utterly false, that Catholics had asked to have the 
Bible banished from the schools, became a stock accusation, main- 
tained to this day, and which still finds dupes to believe it. 

So, this year, in Boston, an American priest called the attention 
of the School Board to a misrepresentation of Catholic doctrine by 
a teacher. That gentleman fell back on a history used in the 
schools, and continued to present his views of Catholic doctrine in 
more and more offensive forms, till the Board struck the book 
from the list and assigned the teacher to another department. 
Then, as fifty years ago, numbers of Protestant clergymen who, 
not without good grounds, consider the public schools part of 
their system and property, began a vehement campaign against 
the Catholic religion, denouncing it, and all who adhered to it, in 
every possible form. Many of the leading newspapers aided the 
onslaught. The whole matter became a political issue, and even 
women were stimulated to rush to the polls to save their religion, 
if not their lives and homes. And, in fact, they voted by thou- 
sands, knowing as little as the men what the merits of the case 
really were. If it has been right that Protestants should have ex- 
clusive control of the public schools, as they have had these many 
years, it must be equally right for Catholics to do the same when 
they can. A Protestant journal says : '* It is abominable that this 
very denomination should be at the same time struggling to get 
control of their management, their text-books, and their teachers." 
If the control by Catholics would be abominable, that by Protes- 
tants must be, if both are citizens with equal rights. 

What an indulgence is, as taught by the Catholic Church, could 
be as easily ascertained as what an electric dynamo is. The Catho- 
lic Church is an institution existing throughout the world. It 
has the decrees of Councils, defining its faith. It has dogmatic 
and catechetical works for the ordinary guidance of its priesthood 
and the instruction of the faithful. Any person of common sense 
would say : Let us examine these and take the definitions given 
there. But people of common sense seem few in number. Objec- 
tions are made that the books used by Catholics in this country 

96 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

are adapted for Protestant countries, yet books printed in Catholic 
countries might readily be had. If others averred that doctrines 
had changed, and that, in former times, different definitions were 
given, and different ideas and practices prevailed, still the fact re- 
mains that printing was invented in Catholic times, and that for 
more than half a century before Protestantism arose, and down to 
this time, presses have teemed with Catholic books. It would be 
the easiest thing in the world for any great library, like Harvard, 
to make a collection of Catholic books, showing what indulgences 
were held to be, at all times, and in all countries, from the inven- 
tion of printing to the present time. This would be the best pri- 
mary evidence on that point, as a collection of missals would be of 
the form of the liturgy during that period. 

Yet, in all that was written, said and printed during the heated 
discussion in Boston, no one seems to have taken this plain, com- 
mon-sense way of ascertaining what Catholics hold an indulgence 
to be. 

There are quaint little handbooks, like DeBurgo's Pupilla Oculi^ 
1 5 10; \\\^ Discipidus de Erudition e Chrisii Fidelium, 1504; Man- 
ipulns Clericorurn, 1530, printed for the use of the parochial clergy 
in England, France and Germany, which would afford any really 
honest inquirer a knowledge of what doctrine was then actually 
taught the people from the pulpit ; but it is useless even to expect 
any such intelligent examination. Catholics puzzled at the mental 
phenomenon of intelligent people preferring darkness to light, and 
error to truth, can only pray that God would " take away the veil 
from their hearts." 

The result of the Boston agitation was not commensurate with 
the energy expended. With the pulpit and press inciting the 
people, with women summoned to the polls, the effect was slight 
compared to other days. " Sometimes a convent, then a church we 
burn," did not hold good ; but by almost superhuman exertion 
they succeeded in defeating a Catholic gentleman, who, after hold- 
ing the office of. Mayor of Boston for four terms, a duration well- 
nigh unexampled in th^ municipal history of that city, was defeated 
when a candidate for the fifth time ; and they gave one more proof 
of the essentially Protestant character of the public schools by pre- 
venting the election of any Catholic to the School Board. As 
these same people are complaining of Catholics for withdrawing 
their children from the public schools, it was rather unwise to 
make their anti-Catholic spirit and management so distinctly ap- 

The spirit of hostility to the Church, which showed itself fifty 
or sixty years ago in the violence committed by the poor mis- 
guided dupes of men who should have known better, and had 

Bostonian Ignorance of Catholic Doctrine. 97 

hearts to teach them better, still prevails, and on occasion can be 
roused, but it is less generally diffused, and is diminishing in in- 
tensity. The sermons of 1888 led to none of the crimes caused 
by those of earlier days. 

Protestantism is losing its hold even in New England. The 
population of Colonial stock are dwindling in numbers, and the 
churches show a decline greater even than proportionate numeri- 
cal loss. The young rarely become church members, the Sunday 
School and Young Men's Christian Associations seem to supplant 
rather than aid the churches. Protestantism never was a religion, 
nor had the elements of one. It has no priesthood, no settled dogma, 
no essential act of divine worship. In our times the cold Calvin- 
istic church service repels, as the Episcopal, with its new trap- 
pings, its vestments, its light, its spirit of gladness, seems to attract 
Protestants. The Methodists and Baptists have outlived their 
early energy. The decline is so distinctly felt that recruits for the 
ministry are few. Zealous men are studying and devising how to 
draw promising young men to the ministry ; but no result has 
been reached. In many parts, especially in New England, where 
churches formerly had a large membership, it has dwindled so that 
they cannot secure ministers. There have been conventions to 
know what is to be done to save these churches. Where they 
are of the same denomination, congregations can unite, and so de- 
fer for a time the imminent dissolution. But in many cases there 
are four or five churches in a little town, each belonging to a dif- 
ferent organization. " A township of 5000 population seldom has 
more than three churches," says a Protestant paper, " one of which 
is Roman Catholic, and is always well filled, and these churches will 
not seat more than 1 200. The number of people at all the churches 
on any Sunday morning is scarcely 600." Schemes for a union of 
denominations have been taken up, and there is a journal. The 
Church Union^ especially devoted to advocating such a blending 
together. The International Bible Lesson for Sunday Schools 
tends that way, and on Thanksgiving Day, which, in the memory 
of living men, saw every Protestant church well filled, it is now 
usual in many places to hold a union service ; the most eloquent 
minister is selected, ' and he can barely fill one church, while 
several others are closed and empty. But effectual union is 
prevented by many minor causes, that of church-property not 
being the least. The questions of doctrine, church government 
and form of service present great difficulties; not a denomination 
has any for which any positive authority can be shown, but each 
clings to its own, as though a matter of positive divine revelation. 
With all the labor to effect a union, not a step has been gained, 
not even the different bodies of a single denomination have been 
VOL. XIV. — 7 

q3 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

brought together. " You have had your Evangelical Alliance for 
nearly fifty years, you have had your famous Pan-Presbyterian 
Alliance for at least twelve years," wrote Rev. Dr. Dabney, when 
he proceeded to show that they had effected absolutely nothing. 
Meanwhile, the gradual disintegration goes on. So far as the 
Catholic Church is concerned, any union between it and the sects 
that have separated from it, and from each other, has, of course, 
become impossible. Men like Fenelon, Leibnitz, Bishop Doyle, 
believed it practicable, in their day, but what might have been 
possible in the seventeenth century, is no longer so. 

There is a remarkable difference between the earlier Oriental 
heresies and those of the West now embodied in Protestantism. 
The former turned almost entirely on questions relating to our 
Lord ; but each body, as formed apart from the Church, retained 
a hierarchy, priesthood, the Mass as the only sacrifice or public 
divine worship of the New Law, the sacraments and most Catholic 
practices. The Greek schism touched the Papacy as the continuous 
headship of Peter. For all or any of these bodies to unite with 
the Catholic Church again, required but little. If any body, like 
the Eutychians recently, who, after being fourteen centuries out 
of the Church, formally disavows, by an authoritative act, the par- 
ticular heretical doctrine it has held, it comes back with its apos- 
tolic succession, valid orders. Mass and sacraments. All goes on 
externally as before, but they are Catholics. Even the Greek 
Church in Russia, Greece and Turkey could, by a simple act 
recognizing the supremacy of the Pope, restore millions upon mil- 
lions to the unity of faith. It would require no change in the 
form of church government, or in the Mass, or in the administra- 
tion of the sacraments, and very little even in the doctrinal 

But the Protestant movement carried with it few bishops, and 
abandoned necessarily the priesthood and the Mass. It has no 
episcopate with apostolic succession, no duly ordained priesthood, 
no sacrifice of the New Law, and now virtually no sacraments, even 
if there were those who could validly administer them. There is 
nothing on their side by which a union can be effected. They are 
mere secessionists, and to come back to the union must acknowl- 
edge the general government of the Church and its organization. 
They have not kept for three centuries what the Eutychians did 
for fourteen, but must recover it all, and that cannot be done with- 
out, but only within the Church. No Protestant body can come 
into the Church, though individuals can and do. 

Providence is shaping events so that even in New England the 
faith is gaining a firm hold that would have been deemed impos- 
sible a few years ago. The fact that Boston has at four successive 

Bostonian Ignorance of Catholic Doctrine. gg 

elections chosen an Irish Catholic for Mayor ; that in the School 
Board of that city there are even now eight Catholic members, 
shows a large Catholic body and influence in Boston ; the more so 
as Catholic energy centring on the erection and maintenance of 
parochial schools, our people generally have come to the convic- 
tion that no really just and fair system of public schools is possible, 
and that the best devised system would constantly be made an 
instrument of oppression. Hence their interest in the public 
schools has decreased ; they leave them to their fellow-citizens of 
other beliefs and unbeliefs. 

The growth of the Catholic body in New England, by natural 
increase, by immigration from Europe and the descendants of more 
recent incomers, and by the wonderful influx of French Canadians 
who came at first merely as denizens, but now remain, become citi- 
zens and settle down to make the land their home. They have able 
leaders like Gagnon, their literary associations, priests, churches, 
convents, schools, they are bilingual, speaking both French and 
English, and increase rather than diminish the influence of their 
brethren in Canada. A recent estimate fixes the number of French 
Canadians in the United States at 800,000, five hundred thousand 
in New York and New England. 

The whole Catholic population of New England by the latest 
data is, in Maine, 70,000 ; New Hampshire, so long bitterly hostile 
to Catholics, 73,000; Vermont, 50,000; Massachusetts, 715,000; 
Rhode Island, 150,000; Connecticut, 175,000; a total ot 1,248,000 
in a population of 4,000,000 in 1880. In Rhode Island the Cath- 
olic population is fully half that of the State; in Connecticut I'^'gths; 
in Massachusetts, gths ; the rate in Maine, New Hampshire and 
Vermont is smaller, ranging from one-fifth to one-ninth. 

Now, supposing all Catholic immigration to cease, the Catholic 
gain would be steady. Of 6638 children born alive in New Hamp- 
shire, 2410, or four out of every eleven, were baptized in Catholic 
churches; in Vermont, 2235 out of 7350 born alive; in Massachu- 
setts, 28,000 out of 42,735, fully two-thirds ; and in large cities like 
Boston the Catholic baptisms have for many years exceeded half 
the number of children born. The births in Boston in 1887 
numbered 12,137, while the Catholic baptisms were 7382, showing 
that more than half the new native population of that city is Catho- 
lic and of Catholic parentage. This proportion is all the more 
striking, as within a few years suburban towns of old Puritanic 
origin have been brought within the city limits. So, in Bridge- 
port, Connecticut, three Catholic churches, in 1887, baptized 463 ; 
in Manchester, N. H., of 1390 children born, 930 were baptized 
in Catholic Churches. In Connecticut it is 6700 out of 14,027, 
or nearly half, and in Rhode Island 3602 out of 6798, or more 

lOO American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

than half. Taking all New England together, of 77,548 children 
born alive, at least 43,000 were baptized in Catholic churches. 
The Catholic body would, therefore, independent of all accessions 
by immigration from Europe or Canada, gain steadily. It is a 
common delusion that the majority of Catholics in the United 
States are of foreign birth. It was not so at the Revolution, and 
cannot be proved to have been so at any period. In 1880 the for- 
eign-born population was some 6,300,000; the Catholic body 
numbered 7,500,000; and not more than half the foreign born can 
be regarded as Catholic ; even allowing 3,500,000 as their number, 
this would leave 4,000,000 native-born Catholics in the country. 

As the Catholic births far exceed the general average of the 
country, this native body is growing at the rate of 250,000 a year. 

Let us consider New England under another phase. 

Place some of the old Puritan Fathers in Boston and other New 
England towns to-day. Irish Catholics, whom Ward, one of their 
ministers, characterized in his " Simple Cobbler of Aggawam " as 
" Bots of the Beast's Tail," would be seen by them filling the land 
with their descendants ; Catholics of Portuguese origin, almost as 
hateful as Irish, swarm in all the fishing towns ; German Catholics 
are found everywhere; the Catholics of Canada, for whose annihila- 
tion the old Puritan pulpits so constantly rang with appeals that 
every wall echoed them, now pour down like an irresistible torrent 
on their New England, conquered but conquering in turn. The 
Puritans of olden days would be appalled ; but they would go to 
the meeting-houses to revive their spirits and the old religious 
ideas which they had founded. Here, surely, they would expect 
consolation and relief They strenuously taught the doctrine of 
the Trinity, the Divinity of Christ, the Atonement, Baptismal 
Regeneration, the Inspiration of the Scriptures, the Church as 
the kingdom of God and a power in a Christian commonwealth ; 
they believed in a Christian education of the young, and from the 
very primer where their little ones learned their letters they im- 
bued them with these vital doctrines. But in the meeting-houses 
of to-day they would hear all these things ignored or derided 
and denied; and if they spoke of religious education in the 
schools, they would be crushed with sarcasm, taunt, ridicule 
and pretentious arrogance. They would leave the meeting- 
houses with sad and heavy hearts, and, looking up at cross- 
crowned spires, would gnash their teeth and regard the evil result 
as the work of these Catholic intruders who had come into their 
fair heritage. But, if mustering courage they entered the Catholic 
churches, what would be their amazement to hear every one of 
these doctrines boldly, fearlessly and plainly taught ; they would 
see men called to adore the Holy Trinity, to look up to Jesus 

Bostonian Ignorance of Catholic Doctrine. loi 

Christ as our Redeemer, making atonement for us, wiping away 
original sin ; they would hear the Scriptures read as the inspired 
word of God, not put on a level with the Zendavesta and the Koran ; 
they would hear of baptismal regeneration, and constantly and 
steadily would hear the necessity inculcated of blending religion 
with education from the first dawn of reason. Would they not in 
utter amazement cast up their hands and cry : Ergo erravimns ? 
" Therefore we have erred from the way of truth, and the light of 
justice has not shined unto us:" "These are they, whom we had 
some time in derision, and for a parable of reproach." " Behold 
how they are numbered among the children of God." 

They would turn from their degenerate descendants and admit 
that the house they had erected was built on sand, and that Chris- 
tian hope was in the Catholic Church. 

In sober reality such Christian truths as were taught in New 
England in old Puritan days are now taught there distinctly only 
by the Catholic Church. It is really continuing the work of the 
old Puritans. 

Anti-Catholic prejudice has outlived the doctrines of the Prot- 
estant churches in New England and throughout the country. 
Secular education has bred a dry rot on the churches, and they 
are sensibly decaying. There is zeal in Sunday-schools, but these 
institutions, while made so as to attract and interest children, do 
not lead them to love and take part in the church service ; they 
simply replace it for the young who, after growing up in Sunday- 
schools, are virtually strangers to the church, and find nothing 
there to interest them. It is as if our children were taught their 
catechism, but were never taken to Mass, and allowed to grow up 
ignorant of it and its meaning and consolations. As a matter of 
course, few would attend it. 

In 1888 the anti-Catholic movement rose and fell in Boston; 
but did not spread through the country, although the old Know- 
Nothing organization has been revived and is active, with papers 
in several parts especially devoted to their cause ; but every year 
the increasing numbers and influence of Catholics render their 
efforts less and less hurtful to the country. It will never again 
put a Presidential candidate in the field, but confine itself to under- 
hand working in order to defeat an obnoxious candidate put forward 
by one of the two great parties, or beset enough Senators to prevent 
the confirmation of some Catholic nominated by the President. 

The war on the parochial schools begun in Massachusetts may 
be revived and imitated elsewhere, but this seems scarcely prob- 
able. It failed in the first grand onset, and it will not be easy to 
rally the same strength again. 

I02 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

To all appearance the periodical attack on the Catholic body 
has passed, and if it is renewed in the last year of the century, it 
will, so far as human foresight can estimate the future, be feeble 
indeed, for the Catholic body, numbering twenty-five out ot sev- 
enty-five millions, will be too respectable a minority to be easily 

When we consider that Congregationalism was once not only 
the dominant, but actually the State Church in all parts of New 
England except Rhode Island, the refuge of the Baptists, the status 
of Congregationalism, as shown by the census of 1880, is perfectly 
amazing, in the decline which it shows. In Massachusetts, its very 
heart and centre, the descendants of the Separatists and Puritans 
have so fallen away from the faith and church of their ancestors, 
that only 91,787, or 5 per cent, of a population of 1,783,012 were 
members of the Congregational Church. In Connecticut, where 
Yale College did so much to save them, there were, indeed, 55,852, 
or 9 per cent, of the whole population ; New Hampshire Congrega- 
tional churches could boast of 20,547 members, being 6 per cent, 
of the population, and Vermont 20,1 17, being the same proportion. 
In Maine, so long an appendage of Massachusetts, there were 
21,645 members of Congregational churches, barely 3^ percent, 
while the Methodists had 25,883 members, and the Baptists 21, 
165. The decline in Rhode Island amongst its dominant denomi- 
nation was as marked, for, in a population of 276,528, the Baptist 
churches had only 10,839 members, about 4 per cent, of the popu- 

The evidence is unmistakable that the young people growing up 
do not and will not become members of the Protestant churches. 

In other words, allowing for those under twelve years of age, at 
least 75 out of every 100 no longer regard the ordinances of the 
Congregational church as at all necessary means to aid them to 
save their souls. To the question : " What shall I do to be saved ?" 
they will not take as an answer: '* Become church-members." 

Progress and Significance of the Parnell Coimnission. 103 


THE Parnell Commission may be taken as a test and illustra- 
tion of the condition of Ireland. It is the encysted ganglion 
of the national disease at present. To dissect this tumor will show 
the method of the malady. 

The Commission, though still current, may fairly be judged by 
its progress from its first meeting, on September 17th, to its ad- 
journment for a month on December 20th. In this time the Com- 
mission had thirty-one sittings. A review of the proceedings will 
compel opinion as to whether or not the London limes has cleared 
itself of the dreadful suspicion of publishing forged letters designed 
to ruin Mr. Parnell, and also whether the Tory Government is 
justified in using the Commission to parade a mass of alleged Irish 
crime and " outrage" which has no relation to Mr. Parnell or the 
charges of the Times against him. 

Early in July last a libel suit was decided in London which had 
been brought against the London Times by a man named Frank 
Hugh O'Donnell, a writer in a London Tory paper, who had been 
a Home Rule member of Parliament. O'Donnell, however, had 
long ago earned the thorough distrust and dislike of the whole 
body of Irish representatives, and had been rejected as one of their 

The Times had at this time adopted a system of making offensive 
and even criminal charges against members of the Irish party in 
Parliament and daring them to take action for libel. 

A year and a half ago the Times published a letter bearing Mr. 
Parnell's signature, and dated May 15th, 1882, addressed to Mr. 
Patrick Egan, showing a complicity in the assassinations by " the 
Invincibles," the society to which James Carey, the informer, be- 
longed, and for the deeds of which several men were executed in 
that year. This letter was so flagrant a forgery, even to the eye, 
but more so to the common sense, that it fell flat even in England, 
and produced an effect directly contrary to the wish and purpose 
of the Times, In Ireland and America it was universally referred 
to as " the Times forgery," and was received with ridicule. 

Mr. Parnell took no notice of the slander, nor of the angry chal- 
lenges of the Times to " come into court and defend yourself." 

It was not understood then (to any but the Irish members, 
probably) that the Times actually relied on the prejudices or dis- 

104 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

honesty of English judges and jurors to come off without a pen- 
alty; but the formation and action of the Special Commission now 
in existence establishes a startling connivance between the Govern- 
ment and the libelling paper. 

When Mr. Parnell and his associates were thus leaving the 
Times alone, and winning by their forbearance, a bogus action for 
libel was begun against the Times by the above-named O'Donnell. 
In this action O'Donnell made almost no pretence of supporting a 
case; he went just far enough to allow the counsel for the Times 
(the Attorney-General of England) to make a speech of injurious 
import against the Nationalist party, renewing all the Times' libels, 
and producing in court a heap of documents used to prove that 
the Irish National League was an association for the manufacture 
of outrage and crime, that it had instigated the Phoenix Park mur- 
ders, and that Mr. Parnell was cognizant of its evil doings. 

Among these papers was a letter alleged to be in Mr. Parnell's 
handwriting, and to have been smuggled from Kilmainham jail, 
addressed to Patrick Egan, saying : 

" What are these fellows waiting for? Inaction is inexpedient. Our best men are 
in prison. Nothing has been done. End this hesitancy. Make it hot for old Forster." 

Other letters were produced tending to show that Mr. Parnell 
had assisted Mr. Byrne, an alleged Invincible, to escape, and that 
he had maintained communication with and received money from 
Mr. Egan and others, who were alleged to be criminals. 

On the conclusion of the Attorney-General's speech, the Lord 
Chief-Justice charged strongly, against O'Donnell, of course, and 
a verdict was given for the Times. Thereupon a still louder out- 
cry arose — this time from other Tory papers besides the Times — 
to Mr. Parnell to "come into court" and defend his character. 

Mr. Parnell, on the day following, arose in Parliament and 
denounced as absolute forgeries the letters with his signature 
published in the Times and read in court by the Attorney-Gen- 
eral. The letter dated May 15, 1882, had his signature in a form 
he had not attached to a letter since 1879, when he had adopted, 
for special reasons, a different style. " The great majority of the 
letters read at the trial," Mr. Parnell continued, " are palpable for- 
geries. If they are credited it must be supposed that I deliber- 
ately put myself in the power of a murderer; that I was accessory 
to the Phoenix Park murders before and after the fact, and that I 
entered Kilmainham jail desiring to assassinate Mr. Forster. The 
absurdity of the whole series of letters, with a {qsn exceptions, 
shows them to be forgeries." 

Mr. Egan cabled from America that the letters were forgeries, 
and offered to go to England and prove it if he were promised 

Progress and Significance of the Parnell Commission. 105 

Still the Times cried out that Mr. Parnell was bound to " come 
into court." But other great English papers accepted the Irish 
leader's dignified word as conclusive proof that he had been foully 
slandered. The Daily News summed up a powerful leader with 
these words : 

" Mr. Parnell's plain and frank words effectually dispose of the absurd charges made 
against him by dupes and partisans. He has done his duty by exploding before the 
House of Commons and the country fictions which would scarcely have deceived a 
well-regulated nursery." 

And then the tide turned for a time, and set in favor of the 
Home Rulers, the first wave splashing dismay in the faces oi Times 
and Tories. 

This first wave was a question by Sir Frederick Lawson, an Eng- 
lish Home Ruler, asking whether or not the Government would 
appoint a Committee of the House of Commons to inquire into the 
charges made against the Irish Nationalist members. Mr. Parnell 
followed with a direct motion for the appointment of such a Com- 
mittee, and asked the Government to appoint a day to discuss the 
subject and give him an opportunity " to repel the foul and un- 
founded charges made against him by Attorney- General Webster 
in the trial of the suit of Mr. O'Donnell against the Times." 

In reply, the Government, through its leader, Mr. W. H. Smith, 
declined to give a dav for the discussion, and also declined to ap- 
point a Committee of Inquiry. 

This action of the Government created a strong feeling in favor 
of Mr. Parnell ; and the Tory Government rapidly learned that a 
step had been taken that must be recalled. Accordingly, a few days 
later, the Government leader, Mr. Smith, introduced a motion pro- 
posing, not a Parliamentary inquiry, which would be at least open 
and general, but a Special Commission, to be composed of three 
judges — appointed by the Government. 

Weeks of heated discussion followed the announcement, which 
was soon backed up by another to the effect that the three judges 
were to have power to inquire into all kinds of crime in Ireland, 
whether or not connected with the Times' charges against the Irish 

The judges selected by the Government, Hannen, Day and 
Smith, were objectionable, two ^f them being pronouncedly anti- 
Irish, one of the two. Justice Day, being a notorious hater of the 
Irish people and their National movement. An English member, 
a man of national repute, a leading London journalist (Labouchere), 
declared that Judge Day was unfit to serve on the Commission, 
" because in a recent trial of three Irishmen for assault, held in 
Liverpool, Justice Day had said that such a dastardly, cowardly 
and brutal crime could not have happened in England, except 
among the Irish." « 

io6 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Mr. Parnell, moved by a patriotic spirit, foreseeing danger to 
his country, urged the House to recollect that they were discuss- 
ing a proposal to provide a substitute for the jury. " While in 
England a jury of twelve was always provided, it was proposed 
that the settlement of an important, far-reaching Irish issue be in- 
volved in an inquiry to depend upon the verdict of two men." 

An eminent English member, Mr. John Morley, perhaps the 
first Liberal in the country in influence, after Mr. Gladstone, cre- 
ated a sensation by saying that "a gentleman having peculiar 
means of knowing Justice Day's mind upon Irish affairs" had 
written informing him that he (Justice Day) was " like Torque- 
mada, a Tory of the high-flyer, non-juror type; that he nightly 
railed against Mr. Parnell and his friends; that he regarded them 
as infidels and rebels ; that he believed them guilty of any crime." 
There were loud cries of "name!" and Mr. Morley named 
his informant — an eminent colleague of Justice Day's on the Bel- 
fast Riot Commission. " Surely," concluded Mr. Morley, "in the 
face of a feeling of this kind toward Justice Day, the Government 
will not retain him on the Commission, against which there ought 
to be no whisper raised." 

Mr. Parnell earnestly urged that the Government could no 
longer plead ignorance in regard to a Commission composed of 
two Conservatives and one Unionist. " The world would know 
to-morrow," he said, " that the Government's idea of fairness was 
that the Nationalists should be tried by a jury of three English 
political opponents." 

But the Government had picked their men, and meant to stick 
to them, for their own purposes ; and as they had the votes, these 
three judges were appointed as the Special Commission. 

Then followed a hopeless fight, joined in by English Liberals 
side by side with Irish Home Rulers, to compel or induce the 
Government to limit the scope of the inquiry into the charges of 
the Times and its alleged Parnell letters. In the course of this 
discussion occurred the now historical castigation of Joseph Cham- 
berlain by Parnell, and the first application of the title "Judas" to 
Mr. Chamberlain by T. P. O'Connor. Mr. Parnell's scourge was 
drawn in comment.on some suggestion made by Chamberlain. He 
said : t 

" My recollection of Mr. Chamberlain is that before he was a Minister he was always 
anxious to put the Irish party forward to do the work which he himself was afraid to 
do. After he became Minister he was always most anxious to betray to the Irish party 
the secrets of the Cabinet, and to endeavor while in the Cabinet to undermine their 
councils and plans in the interest of the Irish party. If the inquiry be extended to 
these matters I shall be able to make good my words by documentary and other evi- 
dence — that has not been forged." 

Progress and Significance of the Parnell Commission. 107 

The ensuing discussion, to limit the scope of the inquiry to 
direct charges, is of much importance, as it shows what the result 
was intended by the Government to be, and illumines the purpose 
of the Commission in hearing all kinds of evidence retailing stories 
of crime or conspiracy in Ireland. 

Mr; Sexton, pungent as usual, directly charged that the Gov- 
ernment leader, Mr. Smith, was in league with the Titnes' editor, 
Mr. Walter, and that the funds and machinery of the national 
treasury were at the disposal of the Times. Mr. Sexton said: 

" Walter at first did not wish that other persons should be included in the investi- 
gation, but when he visited Mr. Smith he knew that the letters he had published in 
the Times would be proved to be forgeries, that his charges against members would 
break down, and that the only chance he had of escaping disgrace and the ruin of the 
Times was to get a roving inquiry into the conduct of persons over whom members 
had no control, and thus mislead the public mind." 

This clear opinion was an actual foresight of what is likely to 
happen and has already happened. The Government, confident 
of its majority, made little show of defending its motive or intent, 
but sullenly sat and waited for the vote, taking the scorn and argu- 
ment of Liberals and Home Rulers with the same stolid indiffer- 
ence. They refused, by a party vote, to have the Parnell letters 
specially inquired into. The motion had been made by an Eng- 
lish member. " It now appears," said the caustic Sir Wm. Vernon 
Harcourt, ex-Home Secretary, " that the Government's object in 
creating the Commission was not to give the Irish members an op- 
portunity to clear themselves of foul and calumnious charges, but 
to inquire into a political organization — not to clear, but to blacken, 
the characters of the Nationalists." 

But the Government had its purpose settled ; the closure was 
applied to stop further suggestion or exposure ; the Irish mem- 
bers walked out of the House in a body — and the bill was passed. 

Then Mr. Parnell entered suit in the Scottish Courts against 
the London Times, claiming ^50,000 damages on account of the 
forged letters. The Times, frightened at the first show of retalia- 
tion, tried to evade the legal test, after all its loud challenges to 
"come into court," and urged that the Scottish Courts had no 
jurisdiction. This was overruled, and the trial is proceeding in 
Scotland by law at the same time that it progresses in England 
by the arbitrary will of three partisan judges. 

The first result of the Commission was a national and interna- 
tional movement to raise money for the defence of Mr. Parnell. 
It was recognized at once that the Commission would involve 
him in enormous expenses, and that both his fortune and good 
name were at stake. Mr. Gladstone was one of the first to point 

io8 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

this out to Englishmen. In a speech at Burslem, in August last, 
he said : 

" The charges against Mr, Parnell would, if proved, destroy everything he valued — 
political power and position. But he is going to be tried on vague general charges. 
I will never believe Mr. Parnell guilty of personal dishonor. The inquiry by the 
Commission may last for years, which would mean pecuniary ruin for Mr. Parnell, 
while the expense to the Times would be a mere flea bite. Regarding the action 
brought in Edinburgh by Mr. Parnell against the Times, Mr. Parnell will be certain to 
get justice. If the letters were forged, he may get substantial damages ; but a special 
clause in the Commission Bill indemnifies the Times if the charges are not made good. 
That is a specimen of the Government's sense of equality." 

The Parnell Defence Fund was simultaneously opened in Eng- 
land, Ireland, the United States, Canada, and the Australias. 

An address, issued in this country in August, 1888, by Mr. John 
Fitzgerald, President of the Irish National League of America, 
called forth an excited opposition from the united Tory press of 
England. This address, in terse language, stated the whole case, 
dwelling strongly on the suit in the Scottish courts. The following 
extract was the special cause of the Tory protest, though it was 
almost a repetition of the expressions of eminent English Liberals 
in Parliament : 

*' Mr. Parnell seeks from a Scottish jury the justice that could not be obtained from 
the British Parliament nor from London law courts liable to the interference of cor- 
rupt Government officials. Armed with unanswerable evidence, Mr. Parnell asks a 
jury of honest Scotchmen to convict the proprietors of the Times of uttering forged 
letters and of attempting by such criminal means to destroy the reputations of honest 

" To prevent tha<^ result and its attendant consequences, the coffers of the London 
Times will be supplemented by the secret-service money at the disposal of the Gov- 
ernment, and no means that can safely help to defeat the ends of justice will be left 
untried by this Cabinet, so experienced in all the darksome ways abhorrent to honest 
men. In such a critical position Mr. Parnell must not be left to fight unaided. The 
Irish race must not permit their leader to fail in his efforts to secure a fair hearing of 
his cause for mere want of funds to carry on what must be an expensive suit. It is 
our cause he is fighting. It is we who through him are assailed by this combination 
of perjurers and forgers, and it is incumbent upon us to stand loyally by him and give 
him that financial support which the circumstances may demand. A Parnell defense 
fund should be inaugurated in every State without delay." 

The Parnell Commission, as it is universally called, opened its 
first session in London on September 17th, 1888. The court in 
which the sittings are held (the Probate Court) is a very limited 
room, and the crowding at first was excessive, over 200 reporters, 
representing English, Irish and American papers, being present. 

Sir Charles Russell, Q.C., M.P,, and Mr. Herbert H. Asquith, 
M.P. for the east division of Fife, were the first counsel for the 
Irish side. Before opening the regular proceedings Justice Han- 
nen asked Sir Charles Russell for whom he appeared. 

Progress and Significance of the Parnell Commission. 109 

" I represent eighty-four Irish Members of Parliament," was the 
reply. Several other lawyers of distinction have since been added. 

The counsel for the Times were the Attorney-General (Sir Rich- 
ard Webster), Sir Henry James, Q.C., and Mr. W. Graham, with 
Mr. John Atkinson, Q.C., and Mr. Ronan, of the Irish bar. 

The case opened with a demand by Mr. Parnell's counsel for the 
production of the originals of the letters published by the Times, 
The judges evaded this first appeal to their justice, .saying that it 
was understood *' that the 7z;;/^5 would produce all the letters and 
documents affecting Mr, Parnell and the others against whom it 
brought charges ;" but adding this saving clause for the Times: 
" But if the parties cannot agree as to the production of the papers, 
the judges will deal with the disputed points in chambers after- 
wards.'' Of course the Times' lawyers could not agree ; but the 
counsel for Mr. Parnell stopped proceedings by insisting that this 
question be at once decided. The judges retired to deliberate, and 
returned with the decision that they should order the production 
of the letters demanded by the counsel for Mr. Parnell. 

" The result so far," wrote a member of Parliament who was 
present, *' is satisfactory to the Irish party. The judges seem to 
realize that they are standing in the glare of a fierce light, with the 
eyes of the whole world upon them. They are judging a case as 
important as the impeachment of Warren Hastings or the trial of 
Charles I. No matter what their personal predilections or politics 
may be, they see the necessity for caution and impartiality. That 
gives great strength to the Irish cause." 

This sanguine observer has since had reason to change his 
opinion. From the opening day, with one or two exceptions, the 
judges have steadily ruled against the Irish side and in favor of 
the Times. One of these exceptions was, however, very important. 
Late in October the judges ordered the Times to produce certain 
forged letters supplied by their agent in America, Roberts, which 
even the Times had discovered to be forgeries. 

Before the sessions were two weeks old public patience was ex- 
hausted, and the tactics of the Tiines and the commissioners were 
generally understood. The court was no longer crowded. The 
Attorney- General made an interminable opening speech of many 
days' delivery, in which he rehashed the old stories and charges 
of the O'Donnell trial, going out of his way at every sentence to 
extend the unsupported slanders and embrace new names in his 
charges. He outlined a scheme of taking Ireland, county by 
county, and presenting every breach of the peace and every alleged 
*' outrage " for eight years past, without making any attempt to 
prove their connection with the National League, much less the 
responsibility of the Irish leaders. He concluded his monstrous 

no American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

speech by stating that men who had actually participated in out- 
rages would be called as witnesses, and they would tell what moneys 
had been paid to them, and how the crimes they were hired to 
commit had been arranged. 

From the address of the Attorney-General it was at last learned 
that the Times' case against Mr. Parnell is that in 1879 he became 
an ally of Michael Davitt in founding the Land League, a con- 
spiracy which aimed at uniting the farmers of Ireland in a strike 
against rent, and ultimately at the separation of Ireland from Eng- 
land ; that in the promotion of the objects of the League Mr. Par- 
nell and Mr. Davitt made use of the moonlighter, the dynamitard 
and the assassin. And in support of this contention the Times 
put in evidence letters of Mr. Parnell justifying the Phoenix Park 
murders ; letters and articles which have appeared in America ad- 
vocating the use of dynamite ; and speeches made in Ireland and in 
America, which incited to the committal of outrages and murders, 
and brought them about. 

It was hoped that the inquiry would at least become interesting 
when the witnesses came up for examination ; but even this was a 
disappointment. The Times presented witness after witness of the 
same indescribable ** informer" kind, varied by the testimony of 
Irish constabulary inspectors, and of persons who had suffered 
from any agrarian or other association or from personal vengeance. 

The informers' evidence was easily riddled by cross-examination. 
They broke down almost without exception. Not a scintilla of 
evidence worth hearing has yet been produced to connect the Na- 
tionalist members with the alleged outrages, though this was the 
special province of the informers. 

Of course there were many dramatic scenes and memorable mo- 
ments. Late in November a zealous police inspector from Ireland 
was asked on cross-examination ** how long he had been engaged 
in getting up a case for the Times f The Times' counsel objected, 
whereupon Sir Charles Russell exclaimed : " We charge and in- 
tend to prove that the whole executive authority in Ireland, even 
including the resident magistrates, is engaged in getting up the 
Times' case." 

The witnesses for the Times, up to the day of adjournment in 
December, were, in the main, men whose testimony was as ques- 
tionable as their characters. Never since Falstaff's ragged com- 
pany has such a crew been gathered for imperial service. A few 
examples are worth giving : 

Early in November, in a London tavern opposite the law courts, 
two men quarrelled, and one tried to murder the other by shooting 
him with a revolver. The would-be murderer was arrested, and 
was found to be a chief witness for the Times, d^ farrier from Tralee, 

Progress and Significance of the Parnell Commission. 1 1 1 

" a dirty, repulsive-looking fellow," says the English report, named 
Joseph Kavanagh. The other man was Patrick Lane, an 'intense 
Irishman, who keeps a shoemaker's shop in London, but who was 
playing the part of a perjurer, receiving money and instructions 
from the limes' counsel, and giving information of his discoveries 
to friends of the Irish members. Lane and Kavanagh had met, 
and Kavanagh had confided to Lane, whom he regarded as a fellow- 
informer, that he was going to swear that Irish leaders had paid 
him money to commit outrages; that the Times' solicitor gave him 
all the money he wanted, paid for his board and lodging, and paid 
him £6 a week for pocket money. (The accuracy of these stories 
has been fully verified by the Irish counsel.) At last Kavanagh 
discovered that Lane was not an informer to be trusted, a quarrel 
ensued, and the real informer and outrage-monger, armed, of course, 
drew his revolver and attempted to murder the man who knew 
him to be a hired perjurer. 

This affair throws a lurid light on the quality of the Times' evi- 
dence. When Kavanagh was arrested he defied the authorities, 
and boasted that the limes ^ovXdi look after him. His boast came 
true, for next day, when he was arraigned, Solicitor Langham an- 
nounced that he had been instructed by the Times to defend the 
prisoner. Lane, on oath, told the whole story, gloried in the prac- 
tical joke he had played on the Times, because, as he said, their 
solicitor, Soames, was sending his agents out to suborn evidence de- 
signed to damn and blacken the character of honest men ; " but," 
added Lane, doing his best to add an inch or two to his low stature, 
" he won't manufacture this Paddy into an informer." 

The court laughed, and the laugh became a prolonged roar, when, 
in extenuation of the fact that he had bobbed his head very low 
when Kavanagh fired, he laid down this deliciously Hibernian 
aphorism : '* It is better to be a coward five minutes than to be 
dead all your lifetime." The utmost ingenuity of the Times' solici- 
tor failed to shake the evidence of Lane and his witnesses, and the 
prisoner Kavanagh was remanded. It is not likely that he will 
be punished for his crime ; but the Times evidently has lost a 
valuable witness. 

In the first week of December the Times produced a ready witness 
named Walsh, who swore that, while he was assistant secretary of 
the National League, he manufactured outrages at the request of 
the local leaders of the League. On cross-examination even the 
judges were surprised when Walsh. confessed himself a burglar and 
a forger, and that he had only consented to give evidence for the 
Times when the police threatened prosecution for forgery. 

An attempt was made to create a sensation over the testi- 
mony as to Lord Mountmorres' murder, his widow appearing m 

112 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

court in deep mourning. An informer named Burke, however, 
told too much. He said that about fourteen years ago he took a 
secret oath in England. He returned to Ireland, and with some 
of his fellows planned the death of Lord Mountmorres. He told 
the names of the men who were guilty, and he ascribed their orders 
to the Land League. In reply to Sir Charles Russell he confessed 
himself utterly unable to explain anything with regard to the secret 
oath, to the estabUshment of the Land League, or to the manner of 
Mountmorres' death. 

Another hoax in which the Times was the victim was the case 
of Patrick Molloy, of Dublin, who became their paid agent. One 
of the Invincibles of 1882 was named Molloy, and the Tunes was 
led to believe that a young man of that name in Dublin was the 
same person. They approached him, and they met their match ; 
he led on the Tunes folk so that he got all sorts of promises, and 
when he finally declined to go to London the judges had him 
arrested and brought into court. There the whole hoax was dis- 
closed, and, to add to the discomfiture of the Times and its parti- 
sans on the bench. Sir Charles Russell succeeded in preventing the 
Times from wriggling out of the matter. 

When Molloy was called for the limes he had no evidence to 
give; but, on cross-examination by Michael Davitt, he stated that 
a solicitor's clerk in Dublin had promised him money if he would 
try to criminate Mr. Davitt either by true or false evidence. 

Other witnesses were called, who swore that they knew of cases 
of boycotting and outrage. On being cross-examined they all 
testified that they knew of persons who had " written threatening 
lettersto themselves," their object being to excite sympathy. The 
League, they said, denounced outrages, and was mainly instru- 
mental in securing reductions in rent, which were very properly 
requested after the bad seasons of 1878 and 1879. These witnesses 
said it was their belief that if the reductions had been voluntarily 
granted the country would have remained peaceful. 

The last two witnesses for the limes^ examined on the eve and 
the day of adjourning the court till the 15th of January, turned 
out to be interesting specimens of the informer class, so that the 
Commission adjourned with an unfavorable outlook for the Times. 

The first of these witnesses was a young man, evidently newly- 
clad, who gave his name as James Buckley, a laborer from Cause- 
way, Tralee, formerly of the Kerry militia, transferred to the Middle- 
boro regiment, from which he had been discharged, with a character 
which he swore was good, but which he had once destroyed. He 
testified to the Times' counsel that he had been sworn into the Fenian 
Brotherhood in 1880, and that all his brother Fenians belonged to 
the Land League. He told a queer story about a friend of his, 

Progress and Significance of the Parnell Commission, 113 

named Roche, who had been expelled from the League, and who 
had become a police spy, Buckley was one of two or three 
selected to kill Roche, whom he met soon after, at seven o'clock 
of a summer evening, a few hundred yards from the police bar- 
racks. He swore that he fired a revolver four times at Roche, but 
it missed fire. Three times he had fired while he held Roche by 
the coat. After this very palpable " outrage," Roche said to him 
in a friendly way : " Come over to the river till I put a bush in the 
gap." Roche afterward shouted " murder! " and went and gave 
information, and Buckley was arrested ; but he had two men ready 
to swear an alibi ; and, as he and Roche were at this time giving 
secret information to the police, the charge was not pressed and he 
was released, to become a close friend of Roche again. Though 
he was charged with attempted murder, he was released without 
trial or bail. On cross-examination this precious witness con- 
fessed that his character for veracity was bad, that he had been 
discharged from the militia with a character which he had destroyed, 
that he had been convicted at petty sessions in Ireland " four or 
five times," that he had broken open his mother's box and robbed 
her, and that his mother was now in the Listowel workhouse. 

The last witness cross-examined before adjournment was an in- 
former, named O'Connor, from Castleisland. This witness had 
told a strong and straight story for the Times, bearing hard on Mr. 
Timothy Harrington, M.P., who, he swore, had employed him and 
others in 1880 to go around by night and threaten voters to vote 
for the Nationalist candidate. On cross-examination, this witness 
confessed that he had been in the pay of the police since 1866, and 
that he had made a statement to a Government agent in Dublin, 
named Walker, ** who pressed him rather hard, and asked him 
about Mr. Harrington." At this period of the cross-examination 
Sir Charles Russell handed the informer a letter, and asked him 
it he had written it. The color left the man's face as he looked at 
the letter, and in a low voice he admitted that it was his writing, 
addressed to his brother in Ireland. Sir Charles Russell then read 
the letter, as follows : 

London, 3d December, 1888. 
Dear Pat. : I am here in London since yesterday morning. I was in Dublin for 
two days. I got myself summoned for the Times. I thought I could make a few 
pounds in the transaction, but I find I cannot unless I would sware quare things. I 
am afraid they will send me to jail or at least give me nothing to carry me home. I 
would not bother with it at all, but my health was very bad when I was at home, and 
I thought I would take a short voyage and see a doctor at their expense (laughter), 
but instead of that doing me any good it has made me worse a little. Twill be ex- 
amined to-morrow, Tuesday, the 4th. Get some daily paper, the Freeman, and see 
how it will be on it. You need not mind replying to this, as I will leave this house as 
soon as I am examined, which won't be longer than to-morrow, Tuesday. Whatever 
way it will end do not blame me for it. I thought to do some good, but I fear I can- 
VOL. XIV. — 8 

114 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

not, but harm. Tell Martin to have thirty shillings out of the bank, as I fear I will 
have to send for the cost if he has get it. After the fair I may not need it, but I am 
afraid I may. I will write again to-morrow night, or at furthest on Wednesday, if I 
am alive and at liberty. 

Your unfortunate brother, 

Thomas O'Connor. 

This was the last word of testimony heard by the Parnell Com- 
mission before its adjournment in December, and it is typical. It 
shows the straits in which are the Government and the Times to 
connect the Irish leaders with the commission of outrage. A case 
that relies on such means is necessarily a weak and failing case; 
and though the inquiry is not yet over, from the past we may 
prejudge the future. Were there stronger witnesses to come here- 
after, the Times would not have risked its case by using creatures 
like these in the early stages of the trial. 

It will be said that these are only the weaker links of the chain, 
and this is true. But they are the only links presented to connect 
the Nationalists with the commission of crime. The stronger links 
are cases of utterly disassociated outrage, of agrarian and White- 
boy and personal offences, against which the National leaders have 
always warned the people. 

During all the time of the trial, the coercion rule in Ireland has 
been applied with redoubled rigor. Hal f-a score members of Par- 
liament are either in prison or about to be tried for nominal breaches 
of the Coercion Law. On Christmas Eve, Mr. James J. O'Kelly, M.P., 
was released, after three months' imprisonment, and a week later 
Mr. Timothy Harrington, M.P., editor of the Kerry Sentinel, was 
sentenced to six months' imprisonment, " with hard labor," which 
specially condemns him to the performance of degrading offices, in 
association with criminal prisoners. On January 4th, this year, Mr. 
Finucane, M.P., was sentenced to a month's imprisonment ; he was 
escorted to Castleconnell jail by the mayor and crowds of cheering 
people. William O'Brien, M.P., editor of United Ireland, was ordered 
to appear before the Parnell Commission on the 15th of January to 
receive sentence, for writing of the Times as the *' Forger." To 
this summons Mr. O'Brien has replied in his paper : 

" For speaking the truth fearlessly we have no contrition, but if the Attorney-Gen- 
eral can suggest a line in our leader in which we have diverted from the strictest accu- 
racy, we will tender an ample apology. Perhaps his sensitive soul was stirred by our 
allusion to his client as the ' Forger.' He really must make allowance for Press 
exigencies. We have used the name since the * alleged /acj2;«/7^ letters ' first appeared, 
and we will cease to use it only when they are proved genuine. If anything is likely 
to act as a deterrent on the ' Forger's ' witnesses it is not our humble articles, but the 
scorching cross-examination of Sir Charles Russell. Why don't they attach him 
for contempt ? " 

Progress and Significance of the Parnell Commission. 1 1 5 

On the opening of the Commission on January 15th, Mr. O'Brien 
appeared in his own defence, and received only a warning for the 

On January 24th, Mr. Wm. O'Brien appeared for trial on a 
charge of conspiracy, at Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary. The 
Government had issued a proclamation forbidding a demonstra- 
tion ; but 20,000 persons assembled to welcome Mr. O'Brien with 
cheers. The constabulary were ordered to charge the crowd, 
which they did with bayonets and clubs, wounding a great many. 
Mr. O'Brien was struck with a police rifle-stock, and Mr. T. M. 
Healy, M. P., was threatened with a bayonet at his breast. 

Mr. O'Brien is also under summons to appear for trial at Kil- 
larney on January 29th, on the charge of inducing tenants not to 
pay rents. Still another summons has been served on him, to ap- 
pear for trial at Rathmore, on February 14th, on a similar charge. 
So that it will go hard with the three English judges and the sti- 
pendiary magistrates of Ireland, if they are not able to lock up for 
at least six months this outspoken and courageous editor and 
Member of Parliament. 

Besides these charges and trials, other Irish members of Parlia- 
ment have the cloud of the prison hanging over their heads. Mr. 
J. D. Sheahan, M. P., has been tried, but not sentenced, on account 
of ill health ; and summonses and warrants have been issued for 
the following gentlemen since the first of January : Denis Kilbride, 
M. P.; James L. Carew, M. P.; John O'Conner, M. P.; Dr. Tan- 
ner, M. P.; and Mr. Condon, M. P. On the 23d of January, Mr. 
David Sheehy, M. P., who had made a speech for the Liberal candi- 
date at Govan, where the Conservatives were signally defeated, 
was arrested under the Irish Coercion Act. 

In every form of stri(!ture, Coercion is at its highest point as the 
year 1889 opens. Evictions are proceeding with unexampled 
ferocity. The blind hope of the landlord party appears to be that, 
while they have the power in their hands, it is their best policy to 
sweep the people and their homes off the land, even if a desert is 
produced. It is the Cromwellian policy over again, with writs 
and crow-bar brigades instead of halters and slave-ships. 

But banishment has turned out to be not a cure but a disease 
worse than the original. The wiser and more patriotic half of 
England acknowledges this, and is working to undo the evil. The 
cruel expatriation of the Irish people has filled the world with 
enemies, not only of aristocratic landlordism, but of the English 
power that supports the system. Ireland has won a lasting victory 
in proving to Liberal England that the Tories are not legislating 
for the empire, but for their own limited class and its privileges. 

Il6 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

But even under the darkest cloud that Ireland has known since 
1798, it is true and obvious that the unhappy nation stands in a 
more hopeful and advantageous position than it has ever occupied 
since the Norman invasion. For the first time in history there is 
a powerful English party with a national platform of Home Rule 
for Ireland. And this is no transient or personal movement, de- 
pending on one British leader. It is the formalized policy of the 
English Liberal party — a programme that is absolutely certain of 

It is said by many, and hoped by the Tories, that the death of 
Mr. Gladstone or of Mr. Parnell would assuredly begin the decline 
of the Home Rule movement. The contrary is the safer prophecy. 
Though it is to be hoped that Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Parnell will 
live to carry out the noble measure they have begun, it is certain 
now that the death of one, or even of both, would only remove 
from the Home Rule movement an element of personality, and 
leave it stronger than before. A reform is never at its full strength 
so long as it depends on one or two men, but when it has become 
part of the moral or common sense of the people. 

From this standpoint, the Parnell Commission, with its incredible 
vileness in the witness-box, and its open partizanship on the bench ; 
the widespread evictions and burning of peasant }i£)mes in Ireland ; 
the jails filled with the honored representatives of the people ; the 
influences of the Church implored to help the mailed hand of co- 
ercion — all these are signs favorable. They remove the Irish 
question from the care of party leaders, and place the responsi- 
bility on English conscience and civilization. 

The patent evils of perjury, eviction, misery and unrest are the 
eruption of the disease of misgovernment that must be speedily 
cured, not by local repression, but by constitutional remedies. 

Mr. Parnell himself, speaking on December 27th, after the ad- 
journment of the Commission, summed up the proceedings in these 
words : " As to the general charges brought against our organiza- 
tion and movement, that is a matter of speculation, and, to some 
extent, of history, and a law-court is no more competent to decide 
it than anybody else. Up to the present, the Times has not got 
beyond a general description of the disturbed state of Ireland. 
Every attempt to connect, not us personally — for there hasn't 
been even an attempt to do that, except in the ridiculous story 
about Harrington told by an informer — but every attempt to con- 
nect our organization with crime, has completely broken down. 
As to the forged letters, let me confine myself strictly to the 
statement that we shall prove our case to the hilt." 

Nothing could better close this article than the words that closed 
the year 1888 for Ireland from Pope Leo XIII., added to those 

The Year 1888— ^4 Retrospect and a Prospect, 117 

of Mr. Parnell. Here are the words of the Pope, addressed to 
the Irish people through the Archbishop of Dubhn : 

" Whilst we embrace with a father's love every member of the fold of Christ, which 
He has entrusted to our keeping, our most special care, the first place in our thoughts is 
reserved for those whom we know to be sufferers from misfortune. For we are moved 
by that instinct which nature has implanted in the heart of every parent to love and 
cherish, beyond all the rest, those of their children who have been stricken by any 
calamity. For this reason, we have always held in a special feeling of affection the 
Catholics of Ireland, long and sorely tried by so many afflictions. And we have 
ever cherished them with a love all the more intense, for their marvellous fortitude 
under those sufferings and for their hereditary attachment to their religion, which no 
pressure of misfortune has ever been able to destroy or weaken. 

" As to the counsels that we have given them from time to time, and our recent 
decree, we were moved in these things not only by the consideration of what is con- 
formable to truth and justice, but also by the desire of advancing your interests. For 
such is our affection for you that it does not suffer us to allow the cause in which Ire- 
land is struggling to be weakened by the introduction of anything that could justly be 
brought in reproach against it." 


HABITUAL introspection at the close of each day is strongly- 
recommended by the Catholic Church as one of the most 
effective means for self-improvement. For each sunrise and each 
sunset implies for the individual a nearer and nearer approach to 
that last day on which the transitory earthly habitation will be left 
behind, and therewith the time ended during which it lies within our 
power to prepare ourselves for timeless eternity. The wisdom of 
this injunction is too apparent to require any elucidation. And in 
a similar sense, we take it, the larger life of nations, and the life of 
mankind as a whole, stand also in need of having their days from 
time to time carefully examined. What a day means for the indi- 
vidual, that a year may be said to mean in the life of a nation, and 
a still longer period, a century, in the life of the world. 

There is much in the year 1888 that may escape superficial ex- 
amination and yet forms the raison d'etre why history will attach 
to it greater importance, not so much, however, in the outer, but 
rather in the inner, life of the civilized world. 

During the last twelve great battles were fought, no 
war cast its gloom over Europe, no invention like that of steam or 

Il8 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

electricity is to be recorded. But the series of events which took 
place impresses us deeply when we look below their surface and try 
to understand their significance for the future. Unless the " yes- 
terday" stands vividly before our eyes, how can we forecast the 
" to-morrow " ? The Papal jubilee ushered in '88, an omen auspi- 
cious in itself. Death struck twice the ruler of Germany, while 
Austria and Greece celebrated the fortieth and twenty-fifth anni- 
versaries of their respective rulers. In the United States the result 
of the election for President put again the Republican party into 
power. These events in themselves possess hardly enough intrin- 
sic value to mark 1888 as a year memorable in the annals of history, 
since they register merely what might be called, not inappropriately, 
" family events," affecting the Catholics, affecting Germany, Aus- 
tria, Greece and the United States, but not the civilized world at 
large. So, at least, the casual observer may hold ; but how dif- 
ferent he will judge when he analyses these seeming family events. 
The Papal jubilee, as a feast, concerned, strictly speaking, only 
the Catholic world. For the fact that an old man who happens 
to sit in the chair of St. Peter celebrates the fiftieth anniversary 
of his ordination to the priesthood, is not in itself of any historical 
importance. Many priests all the world over do every year the 
same, and it remains a personal, a local affair. It is, of course, 
easy to understand that if that priest happens to be the Pope, the 
Catholic world seizes the opportunity to offer its congratulations 
to the head of the Church and give expression to its sense of filial 
attachment and loyal devotion. But the jubilee of Pope Leo XIII. 
meant more, much more. He is not only Pope, but he is also the 
prisoner in the Vatican ; and yet, to pay homage to that prisoner, 
Protestant rulers, and even those outside the pale of Christianity, 
the Sultan, and the Shah of Persia, and the Emperor of China, vied 
with each other by personal letter and by costly gifts. Those 
prophets, therefore, who had predicted that the fall of Rome signi- 
fied the end of the Papal power, were rudely shaken in their belief 
The Papal jubilee was undeniably the occasion to show to an in- 
credulous world that the Papal authority survived the loss of tem- 
poral power, and was still a universally recognized fact. It was 
seen that, instead of having sunk into the grave when Rome be- 
came the capital of the Italian Kingdom, the Papacy under Leo 
XIII. exercised a wide influence, wielded a vast power. Few of 
his most illustrious predecessors in the chair of St. Peter were as 
much the objects of honor and distinction by sovereigns and rulers 
all over the world as Leo XIII. The present ruler of Christen- 
dom combines, it is true, qualities in his person such as few men 
are endowed with. Rare intellectual gifts, and uncommon depth 
of learning, an unusually comprehensive statesmanship, a wisdom 

The Year 1888— /4 Retrospect and a Prospect. 119 

and moderation as great as his piety and firmness, all helped to 
secure that tribute of recognition which the world never refuses to 
greatness. Yet it would be erroneous to believe that it was the 
person alone to whom the world hastened to express its deep 
sense of admiration ; it was much more the office, the ruler of 
Christianity, the head of the Catholic world, that was honored. 
And therein, it seems to us, lies hidden a tacit acknowledgment 
that deserves to be weighed carefully. 

Nor is this all. The Papal jubilee taught men still more. It 
demonstrated by irresistible facts the marvellous, though silent 
and unostentatious, growth of the Church and faithful allegiance 
and loyal devotion of the millions of children who look upon the 
Pope as their spiritual father; it showed the deathless Church 
marching onward and forward to victory on its mission of saving 
mankind. For months and months countless numbers of pilgrims 
went to the Eternal City to show that in every climate, in every 
nation, in every country there were subjects whose fervent adhe- 
rence to the Bishop of Rome could not be doubted. The Vatican 
Exhibition undeceived men and furnished an evidence, more pre- 
cious than the gifts it contained, that Christianity has an indwell- 
ing, indestructible power of expansion. If the past had not offered 
sufficient testimony that neither tyranny nor persecution, neither 
heresy nor schism, could shake the edifice built upon a rock, the 
present witnessed at all events that the Pope, even in prison, rules 
Catholicity, and without having lost influence, which the infallible 
head of an infallible creed must needs wield. The tie that binds 
head and members of the body Catholic together does not consist 
in the undisputed ownership of Rome ; Italy perceived that the 
city on the Tiber is the Eternal City only because of the relation- 
ship of the Pope to it, deprived though he is of exercising his law- 
ful rights over the same. The enemies of Christianity learnt that 
the Pope's voice is still the voice of authority, notwithstanding his 
confinement, and the obligation to obey it is not destroyed by his 
imprisonment. The anomalous position of the one sovereign who 
has subjects in every part of the world, and of every tongue and 
color, was in a singular manner illustrated also during 1888. The 
one great fact, then, which the past year forces upon our attention, 
lies in the general pCiblic recognition of the Catholic Church as the 
one religion possessing a vitality, a strength, a vigor which neither 
time abates nor adverse circumstances change. 

The young German empire buried within three months no less 
than two emperors. The one, William I., who had led the united 
German forces from victory to victory and thereby cemented the 
nation into one great whole, who had been the instrument chosen 
by Providence to erect the new empire, who was allowed to out- 

I20 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

live the threescore and ten allotted to man, and who was at once 
a model of kingly dignity and modesty, was called away in Feb- 
ruary, and the whole nation in deep mourning followed his bier. 
Nor stood that grief long alone, for his son and successor, Fred- 
eric I., who was then already the sure victim of an incurable afflic- 
tion and had undergone a terrible operation, so that death with him 
was but a question of time. Ninety-nine days after his father's 
death the son died, and so the two who had taken the most active 
part in fashioning the empire of Germany were both laid in the 
grave before spring's noontide. If the long life and venerable form 
and eventful career had endeared William I. to all German hearts, 
the manly fortitude and heroic suffering of Frederic I. touched 
their chords of sympathy and engraved the memory of his short 
reign in no less vivid characters upon the annals of German his- 
tory. Grave were the misgivings entertained by the cabinets of 
Europe for the peace of Europe at the demise of William I., graver 
still when Frederic I.'s death was announced and the grandson 
who had buried two progenitors within so short a time assumed 
the reins of government as William II. Russia's attitude in the 
southeast of Europe, and the movement of military forces towards 
the Prussian and Austrian frontiers, was a menace to the peace of 
Europe. France, still unable to forget I'annee terrible, conjured 
up another dark cloud on the political horizon. For, Boulanger's 
success might bring on a war, and if so no one could foresee what 
dimensions it would assume. The youthful emperor of Germany 
was, moreover, presumed to be full of a warlike spirit, and so un- 
easy apprehensions prevailed lest the drum should beat the alarum 
that would summon some twelve millions of men under arms and 
precipitate the Continent into a struggle which would raise heca- 
tombs of men and leave countless widows and orphans to mourn 
for the bread-winners that fell on the battlefields. But that dread 
also, happily, passed away. Mindful of the bequest of grandfather 
and father, the young emperor dispelled the fears connected with 
his accession to the throne by a series of visits to St. Petersburg, 
Vienna and Rome which, while they threw out in bold relief the 
position accorded to Germany by all European powers, offered at 
the same time a guarantee that the triple alliance formed by Ger- 
many, Austria and Italy was no empty sound,- and that whosoever 
ventured to disturb the internal development of the nations would 
be confronted by the combined forces, an encounter promising to 
be fraught with dire consequences for the disturber, in view of the 
numerical strength and discipline of the armies of the allied powers. 
The bonds of union between Prussia proper and the German rulers, 
as also with the northern kingdoms, Sweden and Norway and 

The Year 1888—^ Retrospect and a Prospect. 121 

Denmark, were solidified by William II. after his return from the 
visit to the Czar. 

The one visit, however, which best bespeaks the attitude of the 
Protestant Emperor was his visit to the Pope. As guest of the 
King of Italy in the latter's capital, he could not drive in Italian 
court carriages to the Vatican to pay his respects to the Pope ; for 
that might have been construed, with a good deal of semblance of 
truth, into an official recognition of the present status of the Papacy. 
Therefore a course was pursued that cannot be distorted into any 
such construction. All embassies are, as is well known, terri- 
tories of the respective states whose ambassadors reside therein, and 
the German embassy at Rome is, of course, no exception in this 
respect. So the German Emperor drove from his own territory, 
viz., the German embassy, and not in carriages belonging to the 
king of Italy, but in his own court carriage, drawn by his own 
horses, all of which had for that express purpose been transported 
from Berlin to Rome, to the Vatican, and back from there again 
to the German embassy. The Liberal press tried hard to misrep- 
resent this affair and give it a very different coloring, but the facts 
themselves do not warrant any other interpretation than this, that 
the German emperor, with a consideration equalled only by his 
tact, studiously and successfully avoided giving by his action any 
official approval, as it were, of the existing state of affairs regard- 
ing the Papacy. Add to this that, in order to silence the various 
rumors which some journals spread, the official organ of the Chan- 
cellor of the German empire wrote : " In Prussia the position of the 
Pope as the head of the Church, to which a good third of Prussian 
stibjects belong, is officially recognized, and the Pope as the head 
of the Bishops forms part of our institutions." Thus it is patent 
that the enemies of the Church tried in vain to transmute the visit 
of William II. to Leo XIII. into an approval of the loss of tempo- 
ral power. The youthful German emperor has no doubt disap- 
pointed the sanguine hopes of the enemies of Rome, as he likewise 
disappointed the enemies of peace. 

Turning now to Austro-Hungary, the jubilee celebrated there 
derives much of its significance from a brief reflection upon the 
past. Austria has borne for 600 years the dignity and the heavy 
responsibility of the " Christian" empire and the obligation result- 
ing therefrom to stand by the Church of Rome. Her rulers were 
the born protectors of Christianity and of the Christian social and 
political institutions. She is the one State in which the .dignity of 
legitimacy, the *' Kingdom by the grace of God," has been pre- 
served, that is to say, the social kingdom as given by natural and 
revealed right ; she is the one State which has not spent itself m 
the service of a socially and economically and religiously diseased 

122 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

Liberalism ; she it was that protected Catholicity against Protes- 
tantism in the Thirty Years' War ; she stood up for Christianity 
against Islamism; she stood foremost and longest against the 
French conqueror. Napoleon's first defeat, at Aspern, Austria, 
unaided, administered, and at Leipzig, in the final struggle, her Gen- 
eral commanded the allied forces. The monarchy, by the union 
of different nationalities under one head, was a political symbol of 
Christ's Church. The historic mission of Austria is its right of 
existence, and that mission consists now in reviving Christian 
principles in the life of the State, in cementing by unity of faith 
and Christian charity the nations together which nationalism mis- 
led and separated, in ousting Liberalism and replacing it by Chris- 
tian socialism. Burdened at once with the cross and the imperial 
crown of thorns, Austria has followed the way of the cross through 
history. There has not been wanting in its life the Judas Iscariot 
of Liberalism and of Pessimism ; but there has also never been 
wanting those who guided on the State with unchangeable loyalty 
and faith in its providential mission, and it was the present Em- 
peror's fate to lead the people under his septre through many 
vicissitudes in a course which promises a social reconstruction on 
entirely Christian principles. The spirit of the age did not pass 
by Austria, but while it was able to taint, it was unable to corrupt 
the realm. In 1848, when the principles of 1789 moved like a 
hailstorm over middle Europe, Austria too had its revolution, and 
it was then that Francis Joseph, at the age of eighteen, had to 
ascend the throne and embark upon the difficult task of bringing 
order out of chaos. The Liberal ideas converted the Empire into 
a Constitutional Monarchy, but for the last eleven years the Gov- 
ernment is again in the trustworthy hands of a Catholic Cabinet 
which proceeds on the right line. The form which the celebra- 
tion of the fortieth anniversary of his reign assumed at the express 
wish of the emperor, illustrates best the principles that animate 
this benevolent ruler. Whatever the provinces, cities, towns, vil- 
lages or private persons intended to do to commemorate the event 
should be devoted to charity and to the alleviation of suffering; 
that was his express wish. So the poor and the helpless, the or- 
phan and the widow, the aged and the infirm, are the recipients of 
the gifts which royalty and personal attachment and veneration 
prompted all to lay at the emperor's feet. Hardly a day of the 
year 1888 passed without a notice in the press that here a blind 
asylum had its corner-stone laid, there a hospital, here a fund for 
the support of aged laborers been donated, there a house for the 
education of poor children established. His private charities, 
unknown to the public, reach far beyond the sum of which any- 
thing is known. Thus Austria has, indeed, very good reason to 


The Year 1888—^ Retrospect and a Prospect, 123 

pray to the Ruler above for a long life to its ruler, " by the grace 
of God," below. 

The small kingdom of Greece, after having passed through 
many ordeals, recovers gradually from them under George I., 
whose twenty-fifth anniversary occurred in November, and offered 
a welcome occasion to the people and to all friendly powers to 
felicitate the king on his successful reign. The betrothal of his 
son, the heir to the throne, to the sister of the German emperor, 
augurs well for the future of that country. Of the other European 
states, little of moment, from a historical standpoint, is to be men- 

In Russia the Czar and his family had a narrow, almost miracu- 
lous, escape from a terrible railway accident, which may have con- 
tributed to bringing about a decidedly more pacific policy. The 
triple alliance rendered, of course, an indefinite postponement of 
any scheme of aggrandizement very desirable for the present. The 
decline of Pan-Slavism in Servia forebodes an era of peaceful 
development in that little kingdom, as well as in the neighboring 
Bulgaria, whose ruler. Prince Ferdinand of Coburg, though not 
officially recognized by the signatory powers of the treaty of Ber- 
lin, strives to develop the resources of the country and to improve 
its internal condition. The unhappy republic of France appears to 
drift along without knowing whither. The danger of a dictator- 
ship under the would-be hero-general Boulanger was hardly 
averted by the ridicule which the issue of his duel with Floquet 
threw upon him, before he achieved fresh electoral triumphs, and 
again a revision of the constitution loomed up. What it may lead 
to nobody can foretell who knows the French character. 

An event of far-reaching importance is, however, the result of 
the Presidential election in the United States. For the return 
into power of the Republican party at the expiration of President 
Cleveland's term of office means a radical change in the policy of 
the Government. Inasmuch as it is the mission of the United 
States to prove that Liberalism and Christianity do not exclude 
each other, it remains to be seen how far the admitted tendency 
of the Republican party will devote itself to a reform of the social 
order which, in the United States as well as in Europe, is much 
needed, and attracts already the undivided attention of the states- 
men in the several European commonwealths. 

This brief summary of the strictly speaking historical events of 
1888 hardly furnishes material for singling it out as a memorable 
one in the history of the world. Deaths of rulers and anniver- 
saries of rulers concern, as has been said, the respective nations 
rather than the world, and so likewise the change of party in the 

124 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

great American republic. If we insist, nevertheless, that 1888 
signalizes the beginning of a new epoch, the reason for it must lie 
of necessity outside the array of facts that stand forth as historical 
landmarks. And this, we contend, is precisely the case. 

Whether it be due to the warning words uttered by Leo XIII. 
at the very beginning of his Pontificate, that a social crisis is near 
at hand and can be solved only by reintegrating the principles of 
Christianity into the life of the nations, or whether it be due to the 
overwhelming evidence of the necessity of doing something for a 
proletariate that increases at an alarming rate, matters little. The 
fact remains that a consciousness of a social disturbance has ob- 
tained general currency, and that it is felt that thorough-going 
reforms are needed for averting a serious calamity. For proof of 
this we have to turn simply to legislative measures, partly enacted, 
partly proposed, in nearly every Parliament, in order to perceive 
that a decided veering round from Liberal to the only sound 
Christian principles is noticeable. If not an open and outspoken 
return to Christian social principles, it is at any rate a tacit recog- 
nition of the social value of Christianity. Consequently, it seems 
to us that this year will some day be marked " Return to Christian 
Socialism," and therefore deserves to be looked upon as one of 
vital importance in the history of culture and progress. 

The modern economic system, un-Christian in its essence, and 
more so still in its application, has wrought havoc in all countries, 
whether Catholic or not. No government escaped the scourge of 
Liberalism, and of what Liberalism necessarily entails, " capital- 
ism." The social elements which Christian ethics has properly 
balanced were unhinged by the delusive promise that the larger 
share of liberty opened to all an equal chance to attain whatever 
happiness man can attain in this world. Religion, as a purely indi- 
vidual matter, was eliminated from the social order. After a lapse 
of forty years, since in 1848 the Liberal ideas obtained vogue with 
more or less intensity everywhere, the results of the Liberal eco- 
nomic and social system are before us, and in a transparent clear- 
ness which admits of no denial. 

The common laborer, of course, felt first the effects, and hence 
the labor question disturbed first of all the social order. It was 
found that the absolute freedom given him by Liberalism con- 
verted him into the absolute slave of the employer. But the labor 
question did not remain long alone. The agrarian question is 
now felt in the United States and in Europe alike. The farmer is 
unable to make both ends meet; the sale of his crops barely 
pays for the labor, and leaves him no profit. The burden of taxa- 
tion grows heavier and heavier, and the peasantry groan under a 
load which has become unbearable. A fatal credit system, a no 

The Year 1888—^ Retrospect and a Prospect. 125 

less fatal right to divide and subdivide holdings, a reckless devas- 
tation of forests, and the like changes, impoverished gradually but 
surely the mainstay of all agricultural countries. At their expense 
the number and the wealth of the capitalists increased. The man 
who finds tilling the soil a road to the poorhouse abandons the 
plow and looks for employment in the city, and the steadily grow- 
ing number of unemployed depresses in turn the price of labor, as 
is always the case when the supply exceeds the demand. Then 
there are the small trades-people. The master of the workshop, 
utterly unable to compete with the cheaper machine-made pro- 
ducts of corporations, must, after a desperate struggle, close it, part 
with his independence and himself seek employment in the very 
factory that broke him up. He necessarily swells the number of the 
discontented. And even the small capitalist fares not much better. 
Against the big syndicate and money-institutions he has no power, 
and the process of absorption reduces him also in course of time 
to a salaried employee, a laborer after all. The big fish eat the 
little fish in the brook, in the lake, in the ocean ; and so they do in 
social life. Productive labor has thus become everywhere the 
slave of capital's tyranny. That is the true statement of how so- 
ciety stands to-day. As the iron Chancellor strongly put it : "I 
will not see the aged laborer perish on the dunghill." It had 
come to that almost, and hence it was high time for inaugurating 

The fact that nearly all civilized countries have enacted laws 
limiting the hours of labor, restricting the employment of children 
in factories, protecting women during the time of pregnancy, and 
that, moreover, the lines along which these measures move are 
not diverging, but converging, serves as a welcome sign that more 
correct ideas begin to supersede the notions of Liberalism on 
these points. The republic of Switzerland has, indeed, taken, the 
initiative to bring about, if possible, an international labor legisla- 
tion. For, only uniform laws promise wholesome and lasting relief 
in times when a few hours' ride or a passage across the Atlantic 
can transfer the laborer from one country to another. 

What underlies the labor question, underlies likewise all other 
problems. The highest law that should regulate the relations of 
man to man in the socal order, is that of "justice," just as " char- 
ity " is the highest law in the moral order. That law of justice, 
as established by Christianity, has, to the detriment of mankind, 
been utterly wiped out by Liberalism. Applied to labor, it pro- 
claims the principle that should equal the compensation paid for 
labor equal its value. This principle underlies the Christian idea 
of justice, and it certainly is plain and simple enough. But what 
business could continue to exist were it all at once introduced in 

126 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

our day ! So with the agrarian question, the small trades ques- 
tion, etc.; they all succumbed to the elimination of the law of 
Christian justice, which elimination has divided men practically 
into two classes, the oppressors and the oppressed. 

The plutocracy, whose formation has been going on in every state 
during the last few decades, owes its origin and existence only to 
the extirpation of the Christian idea of justice from society, and has 
brought on that unnatural struggle after wealth as the '' summum 
bonum!' but which in the end proves destructive of the very basis 
of society. For, is it reasonable to be expected that the oppres- 
sors, growing fewer in proportion to the wealth amassed, can keep 
the oppressed, that large mass of discontented which intuitively 
have a sense of suffering from a social condition that is wrong, in 
a state of abject and inactive submission. The alternative con- 
sists either in a frantic outbreak which will override all laws and 
all institutions and wreck our civilization, or else in timely reforms 
on the one basis upon which Christian society has been erected. 

Poor always did exist ; they always will continue to exist as long 
as human beings people the globe. But " paupers" are a creation 
of Liberalism. We hear much about the energetic efforts on the 
part of Liberals to stave the tide of pauperism, but a few morsels 
of bread thrown to a hungry crowd do not appease its hunger. 
The modern Liberal searches diligently enough for the almost 
invisible baccillus, but fails to see that big worm " capitalism" that 
gnaws on the intestines of every nation. The anarchists and the 
bomb-throwers and the dynamiters talk one and the same lan- 
guage. The land doctrine of Henry George and the theories of Karl 
Marx have secured fanatical followers only because men driven 
nearly to despair cling to any promise of relief without weighing 
either soundness of doctrine or possibility of relief. Nor is it at all 
surprising to find an ignorant multitude unable to discriminate 
between what is right and just and what is wrong and unjust, when 
we reflect how the judgment of well-educated persons has been 
warped by the Liberal press. Newspapers are to-day a tremen- 
dous social power, and unfortunately the press, which is controlled, 
if not owned, by the capitalists, is permeated by the materialistic 
tendency of Liberalism, and hence is an instrument that has 
caused many erroneous opinions to be formed on living issues. 

All the more, therefore, must we welcome the attention the 
intelligent public begins to pay to those men of heart and brain 
who devote their best energies to a social reform on the basis of 
true Christianity, a Baron Wambold, a Prince Lichtenstein, a 
Baron Vogelsang, the Dominican Father Albert Weiss, and others. 
They have done more to enlighten the world and bring about a 
proper understanding of the social crisis than those are willing to 

The Year i88S— ^ Retrospect and a Prospect. 127 

concede who are beginning to incorporate their teachings in legis- ' 
lative measures. This nucleus of CathoHcs coming, as it does 
more and more to the front, sheds a ray of bright hope over the 
darkened sky of society. The labors of these Christian social- 
politicians begin to bear fruit in the general awakening of the 
public to a realization that Christianity is as necessary to society 
as it is to the individual. Religion, it is seen at last, is more than 
a matter of the individual's conscience, and in proportion as this 
is understood, in the same proportion does religion as a social 
force, in fact the most powerful and influential social force. 

And just here we encounter the solution of the apparent enigma, 
namely, a Liberal civilization, anti- Christian by necessity rather than 
by choice, paying an open and willing tribute to the enlightened 
occupant of St. Peter's chair. Men may be loth to acknowledge 
it, but they recognize by their actions that from that chair are 
spoken the only words of wisdom on the social situation. The 
refutation and condemnation of the erroneous doctrines of the 
day has neither been attempted nor carried out in any other quar- 
ter. Rome, and Rome alone, has pointed out that the fundamental 
laws of social existence have not been changed by steam and elec- 
tricity and their application to the service of man ; that we are 
still human beings with but a transitory home upon earth in order 
to prepare ourselves as creatures endowed with reason and free- 
will for our permanent home ; and that hence no invention, no 
discovery, no philosophy can shake these primordial truths, nor 
what springs from them, so that the erection of a social order on 
any other basis contains within its own walls the guarantee of 
instability, and of sooner or later crumbling to pieces. 

The sound sense of humanity revolts necessarily against the 
social monstrosity which Liberalism has built up, and the intense 
yearning of mankind to reach its destiny cannot be rooted out 
from the heart. The requirements of men as social beings are 
met by the Christian social order, and no other; co-existence and 
material pursuits are possible and conducive to earthly welfare 
only, if all differences are adjusted according to justice and equity 
and charity as declared and given by Christianity, and not accord- 
ing to human notions as to what these are. 

The laying of a corner-stone of a Catholic university in the 
national capital of the United States possesses, in this connection, 
a deep meaning. It bespeaks the silent but progressive work of 
the Church ; it announces her determination to prepare men fit to 
cope with the emergencies of the times ; it tells us that the priest 
of the future will be equipped not only with the knowledge requi- 
site for a proper discharge of those duties which the spiritual wel- 
fare of the souls entrusted to his care imposes upon him, but 

128 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

also for those larger and wider duties which Christian socialism 
imposes upon him and adds on to his other functions. It is, in 
other words, a challenge and a prophecy : a challenge to imitate her 
who raises within cloister and seminary men devoted only to serve 
God through fellow-man, and equips them with the only weapon 
which defies destruction — truth. It is a prophecy in that the 
apostles of Christian socialism which the to-morrow will need, 
shall not be wanting. The reign of the almighty dollar may come 
to an end, the reign of justice never. How far will capitalism be 
ready to accord to the Catholic Church a voice in shaping the 
indispensable legislation on social matters ? That, we take it, is 
the question of the future in the United States. 

Some States in Europe have made their choice; they have 
chosen to prevent a social revolution that unquestionably would 
wreck the achievements of our civilization, by engrafting upon the 
present institutions the old ideas of the moral law, natural and 
revealed, as furnished by Christianity, and to establish thereby a 
historic continuity with the past. This is the manifesto of 1888 to 
the world; this the raison d'etre of its being the dawn of a new 
day in the history of humanity's progress ; this the meaning of 
the providential ordination that the jubilee of Rome's Vicar and 
the deaths of two great rulers should proclaim the perpetuity of 
Christ's Church on one hand, and the transitoriness of human 
greatness on the other; the firmness of the power of God, the 
weakness of even the greatest of men. 1888 bids us recognize 
that wherever '* convertere te ad dominum'' is underst6od by so- 
ciety, the bountiful blessings of divine mercy have not long to be 
waited for, and this return to social Christianity on the part of the 
State offers the guarantee that better days will await the genera- 
tions who take the lessons of 1888 to heart and live up to what 
they enjoin. 

What has been actually done towards a reorganization of society 
on Christian principles, consists in rudimentary beginnings only, 
whose main value lies principally in the recognition of the theory; 
but the better comprehension and the ardent zeal for a social re- 
form is in the spirit of true Christianity that has risen to the surface 
and presages the deliverance of the people from the tyranny of Lib- 
eralism, capitalism and mammonism. The first centenary of the 
Revolution of 1889 will therefore witness the entombing of those 
ideas which then saw daylight, and the resurrection of those which, 
because divine, save society as they save men. 

The Canadian Separate School System. 129 


THE right which is enjoyed by Cathoh'cs, and by Protestants 
also, in parts of the Dominion of Canada respecting the 
appropriation of their own taxes to the support of their own 
schools, is a very important one and worthy of being well under- 
stood. It is a concession, a privilege, the dominant party may 
say ; but the Catholics acknowledge it simply as a right, as a legis- 
lative sanction to the underlying principles of true education. 
They contend that the control of education cannot be rightfully 
divorced from the conscience of the parent ; that the State with no 
conscience and with no conception of religion cannot undertake to 
impart religious instruction. A State School System, like an Estab- 
lished Church, has certain fascinations for the man in office as 
well as for the expectant politician ; it affords him patronage, it 
offers him a chance to make a name for himself, and most of all 
it gives him a wonderful grip on the future generation. If to be 
the founder of a splendid State Church is likely now to be a dream 
of the past, there remains that appurtenance of it, a State School, 
which is hard to be relinquished. If we all cannot be expected to 
go to the National or State Church, we must be very narrow if we 
object to go to the National School. And so the energies of those 
who govern us, being diverted from the higher course, or what 
they deem the higher course, are the more strongly exerted to- 
wards that which remains. The State takes up education as the 
last stronghold of Caesarism, and takes it up, at least in Canada, 
with a vengeance. Every one must be well educated in the arts 
and sciences ; he must be enabled to enter the universities ; he 
must learn an astonishing number of things whether or not they 
will ever be of the slightest use to him. The mind must be formed, 
the intellect must be trained. And so we have public schools, 
and high schools, and colleges^and universities, all, except a few 
struggling colleges, supported by the State, and presided over by 
-a State official. The intellectual part of the youth being provided 
for, the moral training does not seem to be very important. It 
consists chiefly of inserting a few well-rounded platitudes — Pagan 
or Christian — wherever they could be conveniently worked in with 
the literary selections in the school books. But religious training 
is necessarily ignored. Some of the denominations, following 
the example of the Catholics, are striving to educate their own chil- 
dren in their own way ; but their efforts are discountenanced and 
VOL. XIV. — 9 

1^0 Amcricsin Catholic Quarterly RevitW. 

they work under great disadvantages. The Juggernaut of the 
State rides over them. The State has money, and the appeal for 
general and higher educational facilities is one that is popular and 
patriotic. It is a drawing us out of the dark ages, it is enlighten- 
ment, it is the progress of the age. But there is no appeal for a 
higher or indeed any sort of religious training. The State itself, 
having no religion and naturally but a very heterogeneous con- 
ception of it, cannot be expected to teach religion any more than 
a joint-stock company could teach it. Its whole undisputed the- 
ology may be comprised in less than a page ; and so it would not 
be worth while attempting to formulate any doctrine. A few, and 
these not " glittering generalities," must suffice. The Atheist and 
the Unitarian, the High-Churchman and the Methodist, the Inger- 
sollite and the Catholic, may sit down at the common council of 
the nation and come to a conclusion as to the public works de- 
partment or as to revenue, but they cannot make much headway 
with religious education, or even with highly diluted moral instruc- 
tion in the schools. They wisely gave it up, protesting, however, 
that it is not essential; and even if it is, that it is sufficiently 
taught. At all events, whatever lack or deficiency there is in 
teaching the Divine science, there is a creditable overlap on the 
side of the human. 

The writer is not concerned with the public or other State 
schools except in so far that they do not and cannot afford any 
guarantee to a parent of the religious instruction he may and 
ought to deem necessary for his child. The justness of this to all 
denominations was the origin of the Separate School System. 
That system is not, as is commonly supposed, even in Canada, an 
exclusive right or privilege for Catholics. It is extended to Prot- 
estants as well. There are separate schools for Protestants and for 
Catholics, making religious belief the line of separation ; and sepa- 
rate schools for the colored people, making color the line of sepa- 
ration. The law is a little, but very little, in favor of the Catholic 
separate schools; as will be seen presently, the law inclines towards 
making public schools the vanishing point of Protestant separate 
schools. There are very few of thf^e latter schools, for obvious rea- 
sons. It is rare that one form of Protestantism is so objectionable to 
another form as to superinduce an estrangement in the school-room ; 
it is rather the fashion now in some parts of Canada for the differ- 
ent denominations to exchange pulpits on a Sunday. The week- 
day points of difference may be set down as a very slight diver- 
gence. This united front, or almost united front, of Protestantism, 
sufficed for the legislatures in times gone by to assume that there 
were only two religions so far as matters educational went ; and 
they probably foresaw that it was a very poor specimen of a Prot- 

The Canadian Separate School System. i j 

estant that would not fall in one line where the Catholics were all 
on the opposite side. 

And so, though it is convenient at times to rank Catholics with 
Methodists and Baptists and Anglicans and Presbyterians, as for 
instance, representatives in public offices and so on, yet in this mat- 
ter of schools the population is to be regarded as Protestant and 
Catholic, and the legislation follows that supposition. Leaving 
out the colored schools as affording no special feature for our pur- 
pose, there are three sorts of elementary schools: The public 
school of no religion, the Catholic separate schools, and the Prot- 
estant separate schools for their churches respectively. The first 
of these is non-denominational, the other two are denominational 
by statute law. 

The law as it now stands, for instance in the rather Protestant 
province of Ontario, is the result of a good many hard-fought bat- 
tles in which it was difficult to avoid religious strife. It would be 
impossible to do more than sketch the history of it here, and even 
were it otherwise it is not a pleasant task. The reader will re- 
member that when the French province of Quebec in the last half 
of the last century changed masters, a very small but important 
stream of immigration set in from Great Britain and Ireland. These 
were all Protestants, and belonged, of course, in those days, to the Es- 
tablished Church. They avoided the eastern province and generally 
came and settled in Western Canada, then a part of Quebec prov- 
ince. In 1 79 1 the Imperial Parliament of Great Britain divided 
the old province of Quebec into Upper, or Western, and Lower, or 
Eastern Canada. This was opposed by the British emigrants, as 
it left some of them powerless among the French, and the remain- 
der of them "hived" in Canada West. The provinces remained 
separated for fifty years, with a history enlivened by a couple of 
rebellions and an immense amount of petty tyranny. The British 
Act of 1 79 1 (the Canada Bill) set apart one-seventh of all the pub- 
lic land for the support and maintenance of a Protestant clergy. 
This was the famous " Clergy Reserves," and was intended, no 
doubt, to be appropriated as endowments for rectories of the 
Church of England. These "Reserves" comprised about two 
millions of acres of the public domain of Upper Canada. In 1819 
it was proposed to erect an Anglican rectory in every township ; 
further instructions came about seven years later to the effect that 
these were to be endowed as soon as erected. The royal instruc- 
tions on both of these occasions were disregarded, and things had 
come to such a pass in Church of England affairs that neither tithes 
could be collected nor rectories endowed in Canada at that time. 
All the other denominations were arrayed against the imperfectly 
established Church, but the Church of Scotland outstripped all 

132 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

other opponents and proved in a legal way that she was as much 
a national Church as ever the Church of England had been. By a 
decision of the English Crown officers, the " Reserves " were de- 
clared to be equally the property of these two denominations. In 
the Act of Union between England and Scotland " the true Prot- 
estant religion " of the North Britons, though differing materially 
from the equally true Protestant religion of their southern neigh- 
bors, was "effectually and unalterably secured within the Kingdom 
of Scotland." So the Church of Scotland, being recognized at 
home, could not be set aside abroad where a slice of temporal lands 
was being distributed among " Protestant clergy." In every respect 
with the Church of England the Church of Rome was recognized 
before the law; but none of its adherents could fairly argue that 
its clergy should be regarded as Protestant So they were shut 
out; and so also, in. the opinion of the law officers of the Crown, 
were all dissenting ministers. 

In 1 83 1 the Imperial Government was obliged to declare its 
abandonment of the " Reserves," and in 1839 an Act was passed 
to distribute the proceeds of these lands among certain religious 
denominations. This Act was never put into operation. It was 
not till the year 1854 that the question was finally disposed of. A 
distribution among the different municipalities was then author- 
ized. It caa be well imagined that discussions might arise accord- 
ing as the municipalities proceeded to dispose of the money .^ 
They could apply it only as they had authority to apply other 
moneys ; and at a distance now of some thirty years it would be 
hard to say that any disposition could be free from objection. 

The feeling engendered by these Reserves and their final desti- 
nation might easily have produced denominational schools. The 
Canadas were in a sort of religious ferment for half a century. 
There were at least two hostile camps. As things subsided the 
Church of England lost her prestige and was obliged to sit down 
with the Dissenters, and with such National Churchmen as are to 
be found in the Kirks, Finally the natural and proper division 
came, and as the Catholics stood up on one side, the Church of Eng- 
land and the others all joined hands on the other. The question 
of separate schools was, however, agitated long before the " Re- 
serves " difficulty had settled itself. In the year 1 840 the Eastern and 
Western Provinces of Canada were united under one government. 
In population they were nearly even in point of n^umbers ; one was 
British and Protestant, the other was Catholic and French. Re- 
sponsible government, such as at present prevails in England, had 

1 See the controversy between the Chief Superintendent of Education and the 
Very Rev. (afterwards Mgr.) Bruyere on the appropriation of the Clergy Reserve 

The Canadian Separate School Sjstem, i^^ 

just been secured, and the people were in a fair way towards gov- 
erning themselves. One of the first Acts of the year 1841 was a 
School Law by which in rural districts separate schools, for either 
Protestants or Catholics, could be established; in cities and towns 
a joint board of trustees was supposed to be able to manage edu- 
cational affairs. During the succeeding ten years a number ot 
legislative experiments were made; in 1843 the Act was repealed 
as to Western Canada, and four years later an unsatisfactory Act 
was passed which in its turn was superseded by an Act of the 
year 1849. This latter one was never put in force. A complete 
School Law was enacted in 1851, but it was not for two years 
afterwards that the basis of the present law was constructed, nor 
till the year 1855 that anything satisfactory was reached. In the 
general election of 1857 ^^^ propriety of having separate schools 
was one of the chief issues at the polls, and the result was that the 
Catholic party from Canada East was in a position to rule the 

The Catholic Separate Schools in Western Canada numbered 
sixteen in the year 185 i, increasing during the preceding decade 
from a solitary school in 1841 to the number mentioned. In the 
succeeding decade, or rather in 1862, there were 109 schools, with 
an attendance of 13,631 pupils. In 1863 the law was settled, such 
as with very slight modifications it exists at the present day. 
Under the Act of this latter year it was provided : 

" Any number of persons, not less than five, being heads of families, and freeholders 
or householders, resident without any school section of any township, incorporated 
village, or town, or within any ward of any city or town, and being Roman Catholics, 
may convene a public meeting of persons desiring to establish a separate school for 
Roman Catholics, in such school section or ward, for the election of trustees for the 
management of the same." 

The trustees so elected formed a body corporate, and had power 
to enforce and collect rates and contributions towards the support 
of the school, and they had and have all other necessary powers 
in that regard. 

The Protestant and colored separate schools are now brought 
into existence in this way : 

" Upon the application in writing of five or more heads of families resident in any 
township, city, town, or incorporated village, being Protestants, the Municipal Coun- 
cil of the said township, or the Board of School Trustees of any such city, town, or 
incorporated village, shall authorize the establishment therein of one or more separate 

schools for Protestants ; and in every such case, such council Or board, as 

the case may be, shall prescribe the limits of the section or sections of such schools."2 

1 Thomas D'Arcy M'Gee was returned at this election. 

2 Originally, in regard to these schools, it was necessary that there should be twelve 
applicants, but the law has very recently been changed. There are only half a dozen 
of Protestant separate schools in Ontario to-day. 

134 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

The chief point of difference in the Protestant and Catholic 
schools is that in regard to the former there is this clause : 

" No Protestant separate school shall be allowed in any school section, except when 
the teacher of the public school in such section is a Romap Catholic." 

There is no corresponding clause to this in the Act as regards 
the Catholic schools. The supporters of the schools have to re- 
side within a radius of three miles from the site of the school- 
house, otherwise, if not so situated, they can attend the public 
schools. So long as the separate schools exist they must be sup- 
ported by those desiring to support them, but a Catholic can with- 
draw his support and allow his taxes to fall into the public schools. 

The protection which the Separate School Act affords is of two 
kinds : it exempts from the public school tax and it secures a 
share of the public school fund. This is provided for by two sec- 
tions : 

" Every person paying rates, whether as proprietor or tenant, who, by himself or 
his agent, on or before the first day of March in any year, gives to the clerk of the 
municipality notice in writing that he is a Roman Catholic, and supporter of a sepa- 
rate school situated in the said municipality, or in a municipality contiguous thereto, 
shall be exempted from the payment of all rates imposed for the support of public 
schools, and of public school libraries, or for the purchase of land or erection of 
buildings for public school purposes, within the city, town, incorporated village, or 
section, in which he resides, for the then current year, and every subsequent year 
thereafter, while he continues a supporter of a separate school ; and such notice shall 
not be required to be renewed annually." 

The share of the public monies devoted to education is reached 
in this way : 

" Every separate school shall be entitled to a share in the fund annually granted by 
the Legislature of this Province for the support of public schools, and shall be en- 
titled also to a share in all other public grants, investments and allotments for public 
school purposes now made or hereafter to be made by the Province or the municipal 
authorities, according to the average number of pupils attending such school during 
the twelve next preceding months, or. during the number of months which may have 
elapsed from the establishment of a new separate school, as compared with the whole 
average number of pupils attending school in the same city, town, village, or town- 
ship." — 26 v., c. 5, s. 20. 

Taking the Province of Ontario as a fair example of the work- 
ing of a denominational elementary school system, a few statistics 
may be of some value. In round numbers the entire population 
is 2,000,000; the population between the ages of five and sixteen 
500,000.^ The grand total of schools of every description reaches 

1 The exact figures in the last census were 1,913,460 as the entire population, with 
489,924 of school age. Of these 85,000 were the estimated number of Catholics. 

The Canadian Separate School System, 135 

about 5300, and of this number 200 are Roman Catholic separate 
schools. The entire Catholic population is between one-fifth and 
one-sixth of the whole, and the school children upwards of 90,000. 
It may seem extraordinary that there are not 8oo or 900 schools 
for them, but the reason is obvious enough. In the report of sepa- 
rate schools in the year 1881 the Government Inspector, Mr. J. F. 
White, says : 

" In school are laid, in great part, the first principles of the child's future conduct, 
and its will, heart, conscience, and whole character formed. There it is taught its 
duties, of which, as all Christians are agreed, the moral and religious are the most 
important. Catholics think, further, that religion, to be solid and effective, must be 
instilled throughout the child's entire education. Therefore, content with no mere 
secular instruction, and believing that education without religion is impossible, they 
asked for and obtained separate schools in which to give their children a religious 
training. In many instances they have not taken advantage of the privilege thus 
conferred. Frequently, where the Catholic ratepayers are greater than, or equal in 
number to, the other supporters, no effort has been made to separate. Again, in places 
where nearly all the population is Catholic, as in French, and some German, settle- 
ments, there exists no need for such schools. It thus happens that most of the 
Catholic children of the Province receive their training in public schools. That many 
of the latter are, in their character, as distinctively Catholic as separate schools is 
shown by the establishment, in some sections, of Protestant separate schools 

«' The trustees' returns of school population show that there are 484,224 children of 
school age. Of these, according to the ratio of population, at least 85,000 are Catho- 
lics. By the report for the present year, the number attending separate schools is 
24,767. Allow for 2000 at colleges, private schools, etc., and for non-attendance at 
any school 2 per cent, of the total school population, the remainder, 56,533 (two- 
thirds), is in attendance at public schools. It must be remembered that about 30,000 
of these attend school in Catholic settlements." 

In the Educational Report for Ontario for the year 1888 the 
progress of the Catholic separate schools for the preceding ten 
years is given. The schools increased 57 in eleven years, and the 
number of teachers from 302 to 461. The Minister of Education, 
commenting on the general advancement, says : '* It will be seen 
that the separate schools are steadily prospering, and that both as 
regards teachers and pupils they are becoming more efficient every 

Speaking of the quality of education imparted, Mr. White says : 

" The work of the separate schools is much the same in character as that done in 
public schools. Frequently it is assumed that the education given in the former is, of 
necessity, inferior to that imparted in other institutions. Facts, however, will not bear 
out this assumption. It is not to be supposed that a poor and sparsely attended school 
will bear comparison, as to its results, with a wealthy school having a large attend- 
ance. But, where the conditions have been at all equal for the two systems, separate 
schools show results in no way inferior to those of the public schools. The mark of 
inferiority cannot be attached to such schools as have, year after year, passed pupils 
for second and third class certificates, and whose work, in a few cases, compares 
favorably with that of some high schools." 

136 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

The cost of pupils to the rate-payer is shown to be less, and 
generally a good deal less, to the separate than to the public school 
supporter. Here is the cost per pupil for the year referred to : 










Public schools, .... 
Separate schools, .... 

It will be seen from this that, while in rural sections the cost per 
pupil is much the same, in the cities, where the religious orders 
do the work, the expenses are kept nearly one-half lower than in 
the public schools. Out of a total number of 45 1 teachers, 248 
belonged to religious communities. 

The Catholic children of the Province have an opportunity in 
all cases of going to their own schools, and if their fathers and 
guardians do not see fit to separate in particular localities, it is 
because they can do as well without a separation. It is obvious 
that, in a Catholic settlement with, say, half a dozen Protestant 
neighbors, it would be a disagreeable proceeding to erect a school 
which would deprive these half dozen of any sort of school, and 
would be controlled exactly the same as if there were no such thing 
as separate education. Accordingly in settlements where the 
Catholics can control the school, no matter what it may be called, 
they allow it to remain open to the minority by retaining it as a 
public school. Where in thinly settled districts it is a hard mat- 
ter to maintain one school efficiently, it is often a subject of serious 
deliberation to both pastor and people whether a separation is or 
is not for their own good. In cities and towns good separate 
schools can almost always be counted on ; in villages and in rural 
districts the chances are the other way. If you have a thrifty, com- 
pact settlement, you can have a flourishing school anywhere ; it 
goes without saying that you must have substantial ratepayers 
within a reasonable radius before you can attempt a separate school. 

In Ontario the Separate School system extends, practically, only 
to elementary schools. There are no Separate High Schools, no 
Separate Collegiate Institutes, no Separate Colleges, endowed by 
the people. There is a separation in the primary schools, but if a 
pupil wishes to get a higher school education, he must, generally, 
fall in with the National system. The High Schools receive very 
substantial support from the Government, and they can count on 
local support, public and private. The Provincial University is 
the culmination of these schools and colleges, but there are many 
other universities, though chiefly of a denominational character. 
The Education Department has no control over these, but it con- 
trols and supports the Provincial University, and the general 
school system, public and separate. 

The Canadian Separate School System. 137 

The supervision which the Educational Department has a right 
to direct over separate schools is of a very negative character. The 
Chief Superintendent, or the Minister, is compelled to acknowl- 
edge them, but he does very little besides. The regulations which 
can be prescribed are not of a very vital character ; indeed, the 
Legislature itself is precluded from prejudicially affecting the 
school law. Separate schools existed for a good many years prior 
to the Confederation in 1867. In that year four of the British 
Provinces cast in their lot together as a small Federal Union some- 
what in the nature of the American Union. Two of them, the 
Canadas, had separate or denominational schools, and the Catho- 
lic delegates at the Conference for the Union looked after the 
Catholic minority in Western Canada, whilst the Protestant dele- 
gates were equally anxious for the Protestants living among the 
French Canadians. The result was, both minorities were protected 
against future invasion of their school laws. The Act which 
united the Canadas and the other two Provinces was an Imperial 
Act,^ and its guarantees cannot be disturbed unless by a repealing 
Act of the Imperial Parliament. 

The clause in the Imperial Act is as follows : 

93. In and for each Province the I>egislature may exclusively make laws in rela- 
tion to Education, subject and according to the foUovi^ing provisions : 

(l.) Nothing in any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with 
respect to denominational schools which any class of persons have by law in the 
Province of the Union. [1867.] 

(2.) All the powers, privileges and duties at the Union by law conferred and im- 
posed in Upper Canada on the separate schools and school trustees of the Queen's 
Roman Catholic subjects shall b^and the same are hereby extended to the dissentient 
schools of the Queen's Protestant and Roman Catholic subjects in Quebec. 

(3.) Where in any Province a system of separate or dissentient schools exists by 
law at the Union or is thereafter established by the Legislature of the Province, an 
appeal shall lie to the Governor-General in Council from any Act or decision of any 
Provincial authority affecting any right or privilege of the Protestant or Roman 
Catholic minority of the Queen's subjects in relation to Education. 

(4.) In case any such Provincial law as from time to time seems to the Governor- 
General in Council requisite for the due execution of the provisions of this section is 
not made, or in case any decision of the Governor- General in Council on any appeal 
under this section is not duly executed by the proper Provincial authority in that be- 
half, then and in every such case, and as far only as the circumstances of each case 
require, the Parliament of Canada may make remedial laws for the due execution of 
the provisions of this section and of any decision of the Governor-General in Council 
under this section. 

It will be seen from this how safe the Separate School Law is from 
any local encroachment.' It stands with the Canadian Constitu- 

1 30 and 31 Vic, cap. 3. 

» Ordinarily in Canada if a Provincial Act is beyond the competency of its Legisla- 
ture, or ultra vires, it is vetoed by the Central Government at Ottawa ; but if such Act 
refer to these schools, it is not disallowed in that way, but is dealt with as an appeal 

138 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

tion, but it may fall with it. It is unaffected by local agitation or 
by local legislation in the Province, though it may be, and has 
been, amended at the instance of the proper authorities. Being a 
law for a " denomination," to use the word of the statute, no gov- 
ernment would proceed to enact any amendment to it unless at 
the request of the heads of that denomination. This secures the 
law from any hasty or ill-considered changes, and leaves to the 
ecclesiastical authorities the proper guidance in educational ^ffairs. 


'' It is a most salutary thing, under this temptation to self-conceit, to be reminded 
that in all the highest qualifications of human excellence we have been far outdone by 
men who lived centuries ago." — Card, Newman. 

" Vielen gefallen ist schlimm." — Schiller. 

IT may sound a little cruel, but there is no answer more effective 
and oftentimes more truly kind than to beg a too voluble 
questioner to state his difficulty. It is a veritable red rag to him. 
Has he not been stating his difficulty for the last half hour? and 
now he is coolly requested, not to restadb it — that might be con- 
strued as a compliment — but simply to make himself intelligible. 
"Where's your difficulty?" is one of the most exasperating things 
that can be said, especially when accompanied with a certain in- 
flection of voice. For the moment the position of the person con- 
sulted is forgotten in the greatness of the snub. Resentment 
blinds us to the reasonableness of his request; and even though 
light were given us to see this much, it is doubtful whether our 
will would comply. Some, indeed, try to seem at their ease and 
laugh it off, but a tell-tale flush overspreads their face, and in the 
look with which they regard the ancient man, those qualities of 
reverence and love so much recommended to youth are conspicu- 
ously absent. If wise and sufficiently heroic, the young man will 
pause a moment to rally from the rebuff, but if neither wise nor 
heroic, his alleged difficulty will be reiterated with the added 

to the Governor-General. The difference may be important in one respect, as the par- 
ties affected could be heard on the appeal ; the disallowance is a ministerial act of the 
Privy Council of Canada, and is done in the secret way in which all such acts are 

The So-called Problem of Evil — A Protest. \ 20 

velocity and lessened lucidity due to vexation, and the old man 
must continue to listen, though still unable to follow. 

There is another form of trial to which a youth with difificulties 
is liable. He may have worked very hard at some problem and 
come to the conclusion that it is insoluble, a very satisfactory con- 
clusion at times to come to. It is a mistake to suppose that the 
mind can find gratification only in the discovery of the powers it 
possesses. Now-a-days at least, men grow almost hilarious over 
the discovery of their incapacity for truth. They are delighted to 
prove to themselves and others that all of us are very small indeed. 
They grow wroth over the old Ptolemaic system, were it only 
because it unduly exalted man's position in the physical world.^ 
In their self-depreciation they turn admiringly to physical law and 
offer it a place above the thing called mind, which they regard suspi- 
ciously and praise grudgingly. They love darkness and the lowest 
place, and are proud to admit that they are in it. Into the causes of 
this strange parody of humility we cannot now enter. We only 
observe in passing the curious fact that never before in the history 
of the world was man made so much of as the centre of the uni- 
verse of God.^ Our student, then, with the problem is in the above 
happy frame of mind. He has found the insoluble something that 
baffles his mind, and therefore the minds of all men, and so far he 
is satisfied. For such a one there may be a terrible shock in store. 
If the grave old man of our first parable be consulted, it is just pos- 
sible that he will remark : " Of couse it can be solved. It has been 
solved scores of times. Let me show you." The words may be 
spoken innocently, but they rankle deeply. The slightest discov- 
erer, if he be attached to his own opinion, as some discoverers are, 
will reason somewhat after this fashion : My mind has been given 
to that problem as no other mind ever was. I have pronounced 
it to be insoluble. It is insoluble, and no one has a right to im- 
agine that he or anybody else has solved it. Don't tell me the 
thing has been done. It never was and never can be. 

This picture may give some idea of the reluctance with which we 
approach one of the so-called insoluble problems. One is pretty 
sure to give offence by calling it comparatively easy, or even by hint- 
ing that it is in a very great measure solved. Yet with all the good 
will in the world, we cannot but think that it is so. In the face of 
the irresistible force of the reasoning of a St. Augustine and a St. 
Thomas, it would be the merest hypocrisy to acquiesce in the epi- 

1 Man's place in the physical world is treated by St. Thomas in the spirit of the 
true Rationalist. " Multo plus excedit Anima Rationalis corpora caelestia quam 
ipsa excedunt corpus humanum. Unde non est inconveniens si .corpora ccelestia 
propter hominem esse facta dicantur, non tamen sicut propter principalem finem." 
Suppl. ad Sum mam, Quest. 91, 3. 

» For a lamentable proof of this, see Archdeacon Farrar's work, Eternal Hope. 

140 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

thets that are designed to convey the stupendousness and in- 
solubility of the problem. It may be so in a sense not at all con- 
templated by the users of these big words — this sense we may 
have to consider later — but in the meaning intended by modern 
writers it is neither stupendous nor insoluble. What Dr. Marti- 
neau says of the youths who, thanks to Darwin, are not going to 
be caught in the trap of" Final Causes," and must have their fling 
at Paley and the Bridgewater treatises, we may be permitted to say 
in an applied form of most of those who bandy about the phrase, 
the Problem of Evil. Dr. Martineau writes (" A Study of Relig- 
ion." Preface) :^ "It is probable that of those who speak in this 
way nine out of ten have never read the books with which they 
deal so flippantly." We, on the other hand, shall not be far below 
the mark if we put the proportion of those who have any clear 
understanding of the real meaning of the hackneyed phrase, 
problem of evil, at one in a thousand. One book, which will 
have to be mentioned again, has just been published, bearing that 
very name. The author, Mr. Greenleaf Thompson, might as 
well have called it ^'Problems in Mechanics" for all the rele- 
vancy of the argument. Early in the book (p. 26) he says the 
problem is quite insoluble, and abandons the attempt accord- 
ingly. Yet the book goes on for 250 pages more. The two 
Mills ^ were too overcome by their aimless indignation against 
an imaginary God to bequeath us any contributions of value on 
the subject of evil, physical or moral, and the literary sentimen- 
tality of Archdeacon Farrar is equally barren of results.^ 

1 Probably nowhere in the whole range of English philosophy will be found such 
a masterly solution of some modern difficulties concerning evil as in the pages of Dr. 
Martineau {Ibid., vol. 2, c. 3). We had intended giving some extracts, but it would be 
difficult to make a selection from a chapter which, for a combination of subtlety of 
thought, brilliancy of diction and playful fancy, is one of the masterpieces of recent 
literature. The author unconsciously, it would seem, applies many principles of St. 
Augustine and St. Thomas, and thus adds vastly to their practical force. A study of 
these principles, coupled with an application of them under the able guidance of Dr. 
Martineau, will be found to fortify the true philosophy of evil against any possible 
attack. We may add that Dr. Martineau strongly deprecates the passionate and foolish 
spirit in which the problem is so often approached. 

Like Dugald Stewart, he is quite ready to admit that the problem is by no means 
as difficult as it is represented. 

One slightly adverse criticism may be offered. The large space devoted by Dr. 
Martineau to the treatment of animal pain seems altogether disproportionate. How- 
ever, it may be said that modern Humanitarianism rendered it necessary. 

2 Autobiography of J. S. Mill, p. 41. 

' In Eternal Hope, Serm. 3, Archdeacon Farrar, evidently under the influence of 
excitement, which seems not to have subsided between the preaching of the sermon 
and the publication of the book, thus expresses himself: " St. Thomas lent his saintly 
name to what I can only call the abominable fancy," etc., etc. Neither St. Thomas's 
saintliness nor fancy is here in the least concerned, only his logic. His particular 

The So-called Problem of Evil — A Protest. \a\ 

A famous stanza of Tennyson's is perhaps the very best illus- 
tration of the wild obscurity with which modern philosophy has 
surrounded this question as though to make examination impos- 
sible. Compressed into four lines by the poet's marvellous power, 
the very essence of modern thought on a momentous subject 
stands revealed. Words like these have probably done as much 
to foster a false philosophy of evil as Shakespeare's plea for the 
beetle and its pangs has done for a false Humanitarianism : 

[He] thought that God was love indeed. 

And love Creation's only law, ' 

While Nature, red in tooth and claw 
With ravin, shrieked against his creed, 

A few remarks on this may be subjoined. 

There is a voice heard above the shriek of Lord Tennyson's 
Nature — for we cannot believe that it is Nature herself, so sweet and 
stately — and that is the loud protest of the Philosophy of Religion 
and Common Sense. 

Compare the poet of the 103d Psalm and judge, not only whose 
is the saner philosophy, but whose the truer art. " Thou waterest 
the hills from thy upper rooms, the earth shall be filled with the 
fruit of thy words, bringing forth grass for cattle and herb for the 
service of man, that thou mayest bring bread out of the earth and 
that wine may cheer the heart of man. . . . Thou hast appointed 
darkness and it is night ; in it shall all the bears of the forest roam, 
young lions roaring after their prey and seeking their meat from 

And next hear Common Sense. " The life of the lion," says St. 
Thomas in his robust way, *' could not be preserved but by the 
killing of the ass" (Summa, Pars i., 48, 2); and again: "Some 
would say that the nature of fire was bad, because it burned the 
house of some poor man." This strange opinion, as he calls it, he 
attributes to the " Ancients," "because they did not consider uni- 
versal causes, but only particular causes of particular events" 
(Ibid., Pars i., 49, 2). 

The whirligig of time, indeed, brings round its revenges, and 
Lord Tennyson, the representative of our highly-evolved selves, 
must be classed under the now slightly opprobrious name of 
" Ancients." 

conclusion about lost souls is infallibly deduced from premises which Archdeacon 
Farrar himself must grant. 

Mr, Leckey's mode of attack on the same passage is — 

(1) To quote only two lines. 

(2) To mutilate these two lines. 

(3) To print five words of these two mutilated lines in capitals of horror {Hist. 
Rationalism, 2d ed., vol. i., p. 350). 

ij^2 American Catholic Quarter Ly Review, 

Another, perhaps it might be called a lower, form of common 
sense has still to make its reckoning with Lord Tennyson. It 
asks : Do you or do you not do wrong in ordering a red-handed 
butcher to kill your meat? Do you not make Nature shriek? 
We think that nature (with a small n) would shriek louder if the 
"bleeding business" were not done. 

But it is not from writers of books or poetry that the modern 
spirit is best caught. The heterogeneous mass of literature that 
is ever falling from a glutted press on a glutted world is better for 
the purpose. It is from newspapers and periodicals, supplemented 
by the information gained from odds and ends of discussion, shakes 
of the head, smiles of disbelief and sighs over life, that we come 
to form a very true estimate of popular views of evil. Judging by 
these criteria, the demand for articles that can in some way or an- 
other be called problems, with a dash of evil in them, is going 
briskly on. To minds capable of anything like ultimate analysis, 
they are reducible to a very few — witness the ceaseless and wholly 
unnecessary multiplication of so-called religious problems — but 
the multifarious ways of describing them, and the colors in which 
modern literature revels, give them an air of reality to which they 
have no intrinsic title. 

All the metaphorical resources of the English language — that 
most untruthful instrument of the most truthful race under the sun 
— are exhausted in the attempt to portray the strange manners and 
customs of problems. We have Problems Religious, Philosophi- 
cal, Scientific, Social, Economic, and, dreadful to say, Comic or 
Comical Problems ; Problems that confront us like sturdy beggars 
— Problems that demand solution, that menace, that haunt, that 
bewilder, that overpower, that make life unendurable (so it is said), 
that assume every shape and form and monstrous feature, perplex- 
ing, importunate, complicated, hopeless, insoluble Problems — and 
the greatest of them all is Evil. 

There is a language of problems growing up apace, and lamen- 
tations over the "hideous enigmas" of life bid fair to generate a 
literary screaminess and philosophical slang. After all, apart 
from shams and phrases, the world is luminous still, with the sim- 
plicity and symmetry of God's handiwork. The darkness over 
it is but necessary and • bountiful ; it is necessary as the conse- 
quence of our limited being. Were the world all light to us, the 
world were miserably little. And the darkness is bountiful as the 
occasion of the nobility of self surrender, the heroism of suffering 
and the divinity of compassion. Hideousness there is, but this 
is not part of the darkness ; it is part of the very distinct and pal- 
pable reality of human sin. Wild invective confounds this harm- 
less darkness with this hideous sin, until the world begins to think 

The So-called Problem of Evil— A Protest. 14^ 

itself grievously ill-used at the hands of God. At this point undis- 
ciplined speculation and unchastened language rush blindly in, and 
thrust aside the realities of life, and the world becomes far more 
unhappy because of its man-made theories than because of its God- 
made facts. 

After such a Babel, no wonder that the tones from the past are 
welcome, for they are low and mellow and sweet to the jangling 
that vexes ear and spirit, but they are too gentle to drown it, and 
Shakespeare may sing and St. Thomas teach unheard : 

" There is a soul of goodness in things evil, 
Would man observingly distil it out." 

" Respondeo dicendum quod malum non potest esse nisi in bono, . . . Respondeo 
dicendum quod causa mali est bonum. . . . Respondeo dicendum quod Deus causando 
bonum ordinis universi, ex consequenti et quasi per accidens ^ causat corruptiones 
rerum." 2 

We fail, as we said, to sympathize with the language used about 
this so-called terrible problem. It sounds, in too many cases, loose, 
extravagant and hollow. The questions, Where is your difficulty? 
Has it not been in great measure solved ? rise to one's lips. We 
know, of course, the penalty that is attached to the utterance of an 
opinion somewhat adverse to the age's idea of itself. The gently 
abusive powers of modern English — one would rather fall under 
the good old knock-him-on-the-head style of criticism — are put in 
requisition against the man who cannot feel, as it is said, with the 
age. He is out of touch with the modern spirit, incapable of see- 
ing two sides to a question, blind to the signs of the times, deaf to 
the cry of struggling humanity, his altruistic growth stunted, and 
one side of his nature uncultivated. Alas, alas! Why will not 
these accusers, replete with these phrases and flouts, " deafened 
with the clamor of their own dear groans," remember that we 
are debtors not only to the generation in which we live, but 
also to the minds of the thinkers of old? We have obliga- 
tions to both. We are not free to treat the dead ill because they 
will not feel it. They indeed are beyond the reach of injustice 
and the chill of neglect, and it is well ; for there where they fought 
on the sacred battlefield of truth, a noisy crowd of gasconaders and 
philosophers is swarming, at one moment glorying over their com- 
paratively petty conquests — those over matter — at the next cower- 
ing before shadowy armies of mental problems, inviting them to 
approach, then growing hysterical, turning and flying, contemptu- 
ously ignorant of the deeds of those who stood there once, not 

1 Aristotle's Kara ,rvix^spnic6i. English helpless here. Perhaps primarily uninten- 
tioned gives something of the idea. 

2 Summa, 1. c, and the Quyestio de Malo among the Quaestiones Disputatas. 

144 American Catholic Quarterly Reviezv. 

humble or wise enough to go to Augustine's " Confessions," that 
miracle of thought and tears, and cry out with him, '' Quaerebam 
unde malum et male quaerebam,"^ but supremely satisfied with 
themselves, insensible to the influence and uninspired by the voices 
of the mighty past. The clear and fearless gaze that in the old 
days of the combat of thought used to dispel the gloom is grow- 
ing dim, and the strong grasp that once wrung its worst terrors 
from mystery is relaxed. " We have lost something in our pro- 
gress," are the closing words of Mr. Lecky's great work, but they 
are not sad enough. We have lost the great bulk of the science 
of life, philosophy. 

And there would seem to be little prospect in our days of any 
general effort to recover lost ground, or of anything like a success- 
ful solution of even an ordinary philosophical problem. In a pro- 
gressive age we make no progress in philosophy. 

It will be enough to give only one reason out of many for this 
rather gloomy view. It may be stated thus : Protracted logical 
reasoning and deep disciplined thought have become to the 
modern mind almost a physical impossibility, or at least our re- 
pugnance to such processes is almost insuperable. 

This reason will seem a matter of rejoicing to those who derive 
their ideas of the logical characteristics of the old philosophy from 
writers who, to the delight of the vulgar taste, persist in identify- 
ing logic with verbal jugglery. Taken in this sense, logic, of 
course, connotes a low condition of intellect ; and in this same 
sense many pages out of the old philosophers may be said to be 
disfigured. But such a state of things never was the rule in the 
great authors, but the exception. As well might one say that the 
average of Stoic teaching was fairly represented by a syllogism 
once discussed in their schools : You have that which you have 
not lost. But you have not lost horns. Therefore, you have 
horns. The staple of the great Christian peripatetics was sound 
and solid thought. The subject-matter of the thought may or 
may not commend itself to modern ideas, and we are far from say- 
ing that it would be desirable for us to devote our thought to ex- 
actly the same points. That is not the question. The question 
is : Was there immense power of thought in these men, and if so, 
do we bestow on the subject-matter that we prefer any thought 
like it? Do we? For some such thought, it must be borne in 
mind, is necessary for the attainment of any philosophical truth. 
To this question it is hardly necessary to say that no answer can 
be returned, unless the answerer has read something of the two 
schools which he proposes to compare. With this proviso, there 

1 As a Manichgean. Confessions vii. ;. 

The So-called Problem of Evil— A Protest \At 

can be no mariner of doubt as to the result of the contrast. It 
would be well if, instead of dwelling on the remarkable facility we 
undoubtedly possess of transporting ourselves to ages long dead 
and of feeling to a great extent with them, we should sometimes 
vary the process and call these other ages from the tomb and bid 
them live with and remark on us. We think, for instance, a re- 
suscitated St. Thomas would soon master many modern problems, 
and at the sight of our decadence in the reasoning powers that he 
once found and stimulated in the educational centres of Europe, 
we doubt not that he would stand aghast. There is no other word 
for it. 

Suppose he were told that eminent men of the nineteenth cen- 
tury expressed in print their doubts as to the sum of 2 + 2 in 
another planet, how should he not feel aghast ? And in so feeling, 
would he be right or would he be wrong? Is it by reason of the 
prejudices of his old-world education, or because of his insight 
into everlasting truth, that the mediaeval philosopher would be 
thus very literally shocked ? The question must be capable of an 

Or let him be informed that the immense progress of science, of 
which we are justly proud, is stated on many hands to have nec- 
essarily impaired belief in the very existence of God — for, stripped 
of all ambiguities, this is the naked assertion of multitudes. He 
would probably rather disbelieve his informant than imagine for 
a moment that the educated and cultured human mind could pos- 
sibly have fallen so low. Even when he came to realize it, how 
could he, by dint of strict reasoning, argue the world into reason 
again ? He could not, for strict argument, to be efficacious, sup- 
poses a considerable amount of pre-existent reasonableness. All 
he could do would be to suggest some simile or metaphor suited 
to the tastes and capacities of the age. He might observe, for in- 
stance, that though the childish idea was exploded, that the noise 
in the sea-shell held close to the ear was the distant roar of the 
sea, still the existence of the sea was not thereby imperilled, nor 
the necessity of its waters for the life of fish lessened. Neither 
was God's existence made more doubtful, no matter what the dis- 
covery that falsified old unscientific notions on any physical fact 
in the whole physical word ; nor was the necessity of His exist- 
ence as the ultimate explanation of all life and being diminished. 

This is all, perhaps, that even St. Thomas could do. 

The higher processes of thought — let us call them by their right 
name, the metaphysical — are closed against him, owing to the 
mental conditions of his hearers. For the solution of strictly 
philosophical problems it seems to me that the modern mind is as 
ill-fitted as the mind of any previous epoch ever was, while, com- 
VOL. XIV. — 10 

1^6 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

pared with several ages of the past, which we are ignorant enough 
to decry or presumptuous enough to patronize, we aptly illustrate 
on these points the second childhood of the world. Over and 
over ao-ain, we honestly fail to see in pretentious books the veriest 
sophisms that ever were penned — (pavepurara hlV ohx i-jfuv. One 
would think that we were incapable of taking the two or three 
steps that would often be sufficient to lead us to first princi- 
ples. Mr. Lecky, for instance, the very highest type we possess 
of a philosophical historian and masterly writer, has repeatedly 
stated, both in his Rationalism and European Morals, that the gen- 
eral disbelief in miracles is not founded on reason, and yet is the 
right and proper attitude to assume. He does not see the fatal 
blow he is inflicting on the fundamental truths of true Rational- 
ism. As a more general experiment, take any long chapter in a 
modern book on philosophy, and having extracted the gist of the 
reasoning, submit it to that most crucial test, syllogistic form. 
Two results will be observed. First, the precipitate of reasoning 
thus obtained will, as a rule, be in infinitesimal proportion to the 
amount of verbiage that has been evaporated ; and, secondly, it 
will often enough be frail and worthless, incapable of standing the 
test of light, still less of handling. To exist at all, it must be put 
back into its wordy and deceptive covering. Let the same ex- 
periment be tried, say with Suarez against James I.,-^ and his one 
page will yield more solid produce of reason than the whole bulk 
of the other book. He professes to reason and does reason, and 
if he reasons falsely, he can be detected ; the other professes to 
reason and does not, but it is hard to discover that he does not. 

Yet there would seem to be some hesitation in admitting that 
we do not excel in reasoning powers. This is due to the fact that 
we have no standard of reasoning to which we compare ourselves. 
Hence we do not humble ourselves enough. Worse than this, no 
one will do it for us. In other words, there is no such thing in 
our day as philosophical criticism of philosophy — an extraordi- 
nary paradox, to* be sure, to those who believe that the highly 
intelligent criticism which marks the literature, science and art 
of the century extends to the whole field of thought. However, it 
takes no profound knowledge of ancient and modern philosophy to be 
able to say that, considering the masterly anatomy practised by the 
" Schools" on one another and on outsiders, we moderns are utter 

1 Said by Aristotle of certain necessary truths. An agnostic will probably see in 
the phrase a contradiction in terms. Much in the same way Mill thought that the 
Aristotelian syllogism involved z. petitio principii. It is a curious fact quite overlooked 
by Mill that this objection was met somewhat by Aristotle more than two thousand 
years ago 

2 The title of the work is Defensio Fidei Catholicce adversus Anglicance Seda 
errores, quoted by Mr. Lecky, apparently at second hand, as Suarez De Fide. 

The So-called Problem of Evil — A Protest. 



strangers to anything like true philosophical criticism of so-called 
philosophical books. This statement will cease to be matter of 
surprise if we remember that in every branch of true criticism the 
learned world exacts certain conditions without which the critic 
cannot be said to be formed and will not be allowed to have his say. 
Obviously he must know his subject, but in this knowledge the 
knowledge of authorities also is rightly supposed to be included. 
Never was the phrase, " consult authorities," so much in vogue as 
now, never was public opinion in the good sense so bent on seeing 
that the student should make himself acquainted with the authorities 
who have traversed and illuminated the same line of research. 
Men are on the watch not only to catch him tripping in his state- 
ments, but also to discover what authorities he ought to have con- 
sulted and did not. Indeed this coercive spirit is sometimes car- 
ried to excess. Witness especially the article on Evolution by 
Mr. Sully in the new edition of the " Encyclopaedia Britannica," 
wherein every Evolutionist who has anything ridiculous to say 
on or off the subject has to be set down, ticketed, expounded, and 
thus have justice done him by the meek, long-suffering modern 
student. Friends, and imperious ones too, are always about to 
tell the critic in training that he should have taken down his Bede 
or Pepys or Blackstone, as the case may be. It is much to be 
regretted, they will say, that Mr. A. overlooked this treatise or that 
pamphlet, or presumed to sit down without his ** Littre " or " Dr. 
Murray " before him. We are exquisitely sensitive about the honor 
due to authorities, and we form our critics accordmgly. This rule 
of the republic of letters may be galling enough at times, but it 
has to be kept, and the republic's police are vigilant. If the great 
authority is right, he has to be read in order to develop and dis- 
tance him ; if he has gone wrong on a point, he has still to be read 
in order to be refuted, or some other authority who will refute him 
has to be appealed to. 

Such is a part of the process of manufacture that a sound critic 
in history, for example, or philosophy, is put through. It is, on 
the whole, very salutary, and succeeds in fashioning men who in 
turn become real authorities. It provides that the unscientific ele- 
ment be eliminated and the highest qualities of the critical mind 
retained ! The critic is now in the chair he deserves to fill, and 
maintains with an able hand the discipline of the department over 
which he presides. will not, as a rule, venture to pre- 
sent him with flimsy and worthless books. Broadly speaking we 
may say that the high level maintained in our criticism of poetry 
is most effective in keeping down the growth of extravagantly bad 
productions in verse. Men are afraid of the critic. His periodical 
raids into the ranks of the great " unwhipped" are equally dreaded 

148 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

and beneficial. No one now-a-days will seriously write a book to 
prove that John Dennis of Dunciad fame was a greater writer than 
Pope, or Colley Gibber a greater dramatist than Shakespeare. No 
one dare. 

Yet what are we doing to form critics for the protection of philo- 
sophy and the terror of the wrongdoers and foolish who may 
trespass on this domain ? Nothing at all. We do not form them, 
because we do not know how, and because, for all we know, Grote 
is as good a philosopher as Aristotle, or Mill as St. Thomas. We 
give no command to study authorities, because we know of none. 
It is not that we have examined them and found them wanting ; 
we do not know the outside of their books, let alone their quali- 
fications. There is, indeed, a vague notion that they are " dis- 
credited," but to be discredited is one of the worst forms of con- 
demnation, and sentence of condemnation is lawful only after a 
hearing, and we never even professed to have given them a hear- 
ing. It is not as if we found in his first volume that Macaulay 
was untrustworthy as a historian, and then discarded him; it is as 
if a Frenchman, hearing the name of Chaucer, made no further 
inquiry, but proceeded to declare ore rotiindo that there was no 
early English poet. We recklessly assert, "No first principles of 
philosophy have ever been established" — when we do not know 
whether they have ever been discussed. " Free-will has never 
been proved " — and we could not give a single argument that was 
ever advanced in its defence by its ablest defenders. ** The natu- 
ral law is a myth" — and we are utterly ignorant that a St. Augus- 
tine has thought it out, and that his arguments remain unanswered. 
If all these and scores of other truths are still regarded as perfectly 
open and unestablished, it is no wonder that the field of philosophy 
is invaded by hosts who cannot be more ignorant than the critics 
in command. They are free to say or do anything and every- 
thing ridiculous, because nothing seems ridiculous to those who 
know no better. If no one knew anything of history, how would 
it be shocking to maintain in a book that Alfred the Great was 
identical with Edward the Confessor ? Yet it is no whit less absurd 
to maintain in philosophy, as some do gravely and unblushingly, 
that intellect is brain-stuff; if profound ignorance as to Shakes- 
peare prevailed, who is to prevent us from' saying that Cibber is 
as good as he ? Yet this to one who knows both sides of the par- 
allel would be about the same as to say that Suarez on " God's Prov- 
idence " is no better than Mill against it. Do the upholders of 
Mill know the name of Suarez ? Not till you tell them. Do they 
know that he is an authority ? No. Do they know that he is not 
an authority ? No. Do they know that his arguments have been 
answered ? Yes. Who told them ? Some modern authority said 

The So-called Problem of Evil— A Protest. 


that all these meji were answered and discredited. Did he know 
Suarez? They don't know, but they suppose he did. Truly, 
without the check of critisism, men can and will say the most out- 
rageous things, and without the study of the ancient authorities, 
there can be no criticism. Its absence in philosophy is a great 
incongruity in this critical age. More; it is a grievous evil to 
this would-be philosophical age, for philosophy cannot progress 
when its most rudimentry proofs are travestied or denied, and tra- 
vestied and denied they ever will be until, acknowledging the impos- 
sibility of starting, at this age of the world, a brand-new and quite 
true system, we go and consult the older philosophers, not to wor- 
ship, but honestly to examine them, and, according to that exam- 
ination, to yield or withhold our assent. As it is, our position 
would be hardly tolerable were it not that our ignorance of our state 
is profound. Blissfully unconscious of our own inabihty to praise 
or censure judiciously, we look on while a company of fellow- 
blunderers perform in equally blissful unconsciousness the most 
fantastic tricks that ever made philosophy weep. There are few 
more extraordinary or more humiliating phenomena in the history 
of philosophy than the ascendency over English thought exercised 
a few years ago by the Benthamite school. That miserable struc- 
ture could not have stood for a day against the attack of an efficient 
body of critics, but there was none such. 

Any kind of trick may be played with impunity on modern phi- 
losophers. Mr. Hallam (" History of Literature ") gravely asserts: 
"The Fathers, with the exception, perhaps the single one, of St. 
Augustine, had taught the corporeity of the thinking substance." 
Mr. Lecky repeats the statement in perfect innocence. Professor 
Max Miiller, with that blatant expression of general disbelief which 
is so unspeakably distressing to the higher type of the scientific 
character, lays it down in his "Science of Thought" that "there 
is no such thing as intellect, understanding, mind or reason." Mr. 
Jevons (" Principles of Science") fears that the existence of evil 
may be pushed to something like a demonstration against the 
existence of God. Mr. Daniel Greenleaf Thompson^ in his " Prob- 
lem of Evil " assures us that the free-will controversy has closed 
forever in the utter discomfiture of the upholders of freedom. If, 
he adds, we are not prepared to take his word for this, he must 
refer us to men of science; if we are disposed to suspect bias in 
this body, he has only to hand us over to the good Christian man 
— he does not say he was also a Calvinist— Jonathan Edwards. 
None of these men, be it observed, are in the least ashamed of 

1 " Of New York City," as we are told in the advertisement of another work of his. 

150 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

themselves. Why should they be? They have usually acted up 
to their lights. They consulted no authorities, for no one pointed 
them out. They evolved all things from their own minds, because 
they were not told of any minds that were better. Then they 
played before critics, and the critics applauded because they were 
no true critics. 

As are the critics, so are the books which they are incompetent 
to criticise. With the exception of mathematical treatises and 
some few scientific ones, we may say that books wholly occupied 
with rigorous demonstration and close reasoning are absolutely 
unknown to us. The dearth of such works is not recognized as 
deplorable because, on the principle of the relativity of knowledge, 
the lower intellectual functions which we see exhibited in the 
books we have, are not known to us as the lower, but as the only 

Let us not be unjust to ourselves. We can do far more feats 
than are enumerated in Matthew Arnold's meagre catalogue of 
Philistine achievements: "Doors that open, windows that shut, 
locks that turn, razors that shave, coats that wear, watches that go." 
In scientific and historical research and philological criticism, to 
mention only three things out of many, we stand immeasurably 
above all the progress of all the ages gone before. But it must be 
borne in mind that philosophy is wider than all this, and that there 
are in it vast recesses which we know nothing of, and to which we 
cannot possibly penetrate without an equipment which, as a mat- 
ter of fact, we have not got. How does the able historical work 
show that we are possessed of great reasoning powers as such ? It 
shows nothing of the sort. It proves undoubtedly our possession 
of extended knowledge, large sympathies and impartial judgment ; 
and bristling foot-notes will probably evidence our inexhaustible 
patience in the examination of original records. But, valuable as 
these qualities are, they are but a small fraction of the capacities 
of the human mind. If Aristotle and Albertus Magnus were great 
naturalists in their day, and employed many scientific methods, 
and displayed some of the highest qualities of the scientific mind, 
they were also something more. They were deep thinkers about 
the soul, and truth, and happiness, and virtue, and good, and evil, 
all of them matters of import to men, and many of them, in the 
long run, of vast practical consequence. That" something more," 
which these philosophers had, we have not, whatever else we may 
have. We neither excel ourselves, nor respect those who excel 
in what is, after all, a higher sphere of thought. Our spirit of tol- 
eration has, indeed, softened the asperities of our language in re- 
gard to that unhappy class of men, but it may be doubted whether 

The So-called Problem of Evil — A Protest. \ t \ 

the feelings with which Thomas Hobbes regarded them are more 
charitable now/ 

If the above contention be at all correct, if the accuracy of thought 
essential to true philosophy be replaced in modern days by lame 
analysis and questionable logic, a corresponding loss in the clear- 
ness of our philosophical language may be looked for. 

A word on this point may be added. If the charge of obscurity 
of expression is to be proved against modern philosophy, we can- 
not fairly be required to put on our charge-sheet anything except 
those metaphysical or purely psychological subjects wherein alone 
obscurity is possible ; that is to say, all the clearness, for example, 
of Dr. Bain on the physiological parts of psychology, on nerves 
and muscles and organs, where there is no room for the crimes of 
unintelligibility, cannot be adduced as rebutting evidence. 

Only one extract can here be given. It is not affected by its 
context, it is anything but a solitary instance, and it is typical of 
the language of Mr. Spencer as a professed metaphysician. So 
regarded, it would seem to indicate, on the part of English expres- 
sion, an approximation to the rapidity of descent with which much 
German philosophy has gone down into the depths of the unintel- 

" The conception of a rhythmically-moving mass of sensible 
matter is a synthesis of certain states of consciousness that stand 
related in a certain succession. The concept of a rhythmically- 
moving molecule is one in which these states and their relations 
have been reduced to the extremest limits of dimension represent- 
able to the mind, and are then assumed to be further reduced far 
beyond the limits of representation. So that this rhythmically- 
moving molecule which is our unit of composition of external phe- 
nomena, is mental in a three-fold sense. Our experiences of a 
rhythmically-moving mass, whence the conception of it is derived, 
are states of mind having objective counterparts that are unknown ; 
the derived conception of a rhythmically-moving molecule is formed 

1 Quoting Luther with approval, Hobbes says ("Questions concerning Liberty, 
etc." ) : " Aquinas set up the kingdom of Aristotle, the destroyer of godly doctrine." 
This from Hobbes, who was himself a violent opponent of Free Will ! Again, in the 
treatise •' Of Man," cap, 8, speaking of Suarez and other schoolmen, he remarks : 
" This kind of absurdity may rightly be numbered among the many sorts of madness, 
and all the time that guided by clear thoughts of their worldly lust they forbear dis- 
puting or writing thus, but lucid intervals." Most of the great scholastics, as we 
know, were furnished by the Franciscan, Dominican and Jesuit Orders, all of which 
once wrote and fought so hard that they really had no time for " worldly fust," which, 
by the way, in Hobbes's mind seems to be a hopeful sign of mental sanity. 

2 See one of the most intelligible of German works, Lotze's " Microcosm." Even 
in the admirable translation of the late Miss Hamilton and Miss Jones, Lotze is not 
too clear. 

152 American Catholic Qtiarterl^' Review, 

of states of mind that have no directly-presented objective counter- 
parts at all, and when we try to think of the rhythmically-moving 
molecule as we suppose it to exist, we do so by imagining that 
we have re-represented these representative states on an infinitely 
reduced scale. So that the unit out of which we build our inter- 
pretation of material phenomena is triply ideal." — {Principles of 
Psychology, 2d edition, stereotyped, vol. i. p. 625.) 

Neither Aristotle nor St. Thomas has anything to show to equal 

We are painfully aware of the danger one runs in quoting passages 
like the foregoing, with the intention avowed above. Even to the 
politest of readers the obvious retort is open. " It may be to him 
unintelligible, but who is he ?" etc. A personal reference is thus 
forced on me. We confess that at first we did feel in duty bound to 
be ashamed of the incapacity which failed to apprehend a great 
writer's meaning. Then we read and re-read. A comfortable sus- 
picion at last dawned, which gradually ripened into the conviction 
that it was not wholly our stupidity that was to blame, but thatthe 
writer was, essentially and intrinsically, unintelligible. There are, 
of course, some who say that they can understand all or nearly all 
of such writing, but we must not be rudely skeptical.^ To us, at 
least, less gifted mortals, much, very much of it, seems nothing 
short of glorified rubbish. 

One thing is certain, that works like Mr. Spencer's mark an 
epoch in philosophical expression^ It is impossible to conceive 
that a committee, composed of certain great names in English 
philosophy, say. Bacon, Locke, Hobbes and Paley, and appointed 
to report on Mr. Spencer, could do their work properly ; the lan- 
guage of the 1 6th, 17th and i8th century philosophy is so essen- 
tially different from ours, that is, from Mr. Spencer's. It may be 
doubted whether they would understand one page of his meta- 
physical style. The presumption is that there must be something 
wrong, at least in his language. 

Starting from one of the so-called problems of the day, we w^ere 
led to dwell on a difficulty or disqualification which we thought 
existed in regard to the profitable discussion of any such matters 
at all. 

Briefly, our reasoning and logical powers are not equal to the 

This evil, we are confident, would be remedied in great measure 
by a studious and judicious reading of the great reasoners of the 
old philosophy, especially St. Thomas Aquinas. 

But here our protest tends to become a plea, and this must 
not be. 

1 One can better say strong things in Greek, and not seem too severe ; 00:5 iart avaki^alov 
3 rtj \iyti ravra {moXa/i paveiv, — " Arist. Metaphys., iii. 3. 

What the Languages Owe to the Catholic Church, 153 



A S language is made up of words, and as the Catholic Church 
^^~^ is founded by the Eternal Word, there ought naturally to be 
a close connection between the Church and language. Doubtless 
all things were created by this same Word : " The world was made 
by Him, and without Him was made nothing that was made." 
But the Church is His new, His supernatural creation, the kingdom 
of all regenerated in Him, His spouse " without spot or wrinkle." 
The creation of the universe cost Him but one " ; that of 
the Church took Him thirty-three years of doing and teaching. 
This world and the figure thereof shall pass away, but the Church 
triumphant shall abide forever. 

The Incarnate Word built His Church upon the rock, Peter, a 
new name, a word coined as it were out of Simon's faith in Our 
Lord's divinity, professed in these words : " Thou art Christ, the 
Son of the living God ;" by which he merited to hear, " Blessed 
art thou, Simon Bar-Jona : because flesh and blood hath not re- 
vealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven ;" and again, 
''I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou being 
once converted, confirm thy brethren." Faith, then, in Christ is 
the support of the Rock itself, and consequently of the whole 
spiritual edifice built upon the Rock, the Church. But "faith 
Cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Here we 
see language made the instrument whereby to establish, consoli- 
date, and perpetuate that masterpiece of creation, the Church of 
God. Faith in the word of God is not only the foundation and 
support of the Church, but the very life of every member in the 
Church, and, therefore, of the whole Church. " Man liveth not 
by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth 
of God." "The just man liveth by faith." "This is the victory 
which overcometh the world, our faith." Thus the Word builds 
His Church upon the Rock imbedded in his own word adhered to 
by faith, and supports it by that same word, which, though " heaven 
and earth shall pass away, shall not pass away." Had we nothing 
more than this, remembering that words constitute language, we 
should expect to find a very remarkable relation subsisting between 
the Catholic Church and the languages. 

But this is not all. When the promise of the Eternal Word was 
fulfilled, and the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth, descended upon the 

154 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

Apostles with the plenitude of His gifts and power, to enable 
them to complete and perpetuate the work begun by the Eternal 
Word, He appeared in the form of fiery tongues. What did this 
denote? It denoted what immediately followed : " And they began 
to speak in divers tongues the wonderful works of God." It de- 
noted that, as they had received the gift of faith through the words 
of the Uncreated Word, so they were to use the same means, words 
(language), for the same end, viz., that their hearers might receive 
the gift of faith and be incorporated into the spiritual Body of 
Christ, the Church. It denoted that, since human means were 
wanting, they were to be supernaturally supplied with the means 
of carrying out their most ample mission and of executing their 
most imperative orders, ** Go, teach all nations." For it is abso- 
lutely necessary for the teacher to use the language of the taught, 
since language is the medium of communication between mind 
and mind. But the Teacher of all nations must be versed in the 
languages of all nations. Therefore, the Divine Enlightener and 
Guide of the Church came upon the Apostles in the form of tongues 
of fire, enabling them to communicate by language the light of 
truth with which He filled their minds, and to diffuse on all sides 
the fire of charity with which He inflamed their hearts. Nor was 
it alone at the birth of the Church that the miracle of tongues was 
witnessed. It has been repeated from time to time through all the 
ages since in favor of her children, her zealous missionaries, dis- 
pensers of the divine word, as is abundantly proved in the case of 
St. Francis Xavier, St. Paul of the Cross, and so many others. 

How faithfully the Catholic Church has fulfilled her sublime 
office of Teacher of all nations has been repeatedly acknowledged, 
even by those who are not of her fold, and, indeed, holds the most 
prominent place on the pages of history. The Head of the Church 
is always mindful of the injunction given him in the person of 
Peter, " Feed my lambs, feed my sheep." The whole flock must 
be fed with " the words of eternal life." For this there is need of 
all the languages, for the flock is found in every country in the 
world. The languages must hold a prominent place, too, in the 
armory of the Church in her spiritual warfare against ignorance 
and error. Each Christian combatant is told to take unto him 
" the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word 
of God)." Every follower of Christ is a soldier, who must fight 
the good fight, and take heaven by violence. 

The burning zeal with which the Apostles issued forth from the 
Coenaculum, the ardor with which heroic armies of Catholic mis- 
sionaries have since spread their peaceful conquests over the earth, 
the eagerness with which the Church now stretches out her ma- 
ternal arms to the nations and tribes that are yet shrouded in igno- 

What the Languages Owe to the Catholic Church. 155 

ranee and barbarism, were well symbolized, on the day of Pente- 
cost, by the " cloven tongues, as it were, of fire." For fire is an 
active principle, ever striving to communicate its nature to all 
within its reach, diffusing around it light and heat, and always 
mounting upward. Such, too, are Charity and her eldest daughter, 
Zeal. They cannot remain inactive. So long as there are minds 
in the darkness of ignorance, hearts in the coldness of selfishness, 
these heaven-born virtues will go out toward them in floods of 
light and heat, bearing to all the knowledge and love of the true, 
the beautiful, and the good, thus refining, civilizing, and elevating 
them to the sublime sphere of their supernatural destiny. And 
such, again, has been pre-eminently the character of the Catholic 
Church ; it is such to-day, and such it will be to the end of time. 
Gratis she has received, gratis does she desire to give of her 
abundance. She is the sun in the spiritual universe, enlightening, 
beautifying, and animating all ; the reservoir of heavenly graces 
and benedictions, supplied to overflowing from the Eternal Foun- 
tain ; the organ through which the Eternal Father communicates 
with his adopted children, the Mother of all the faithful, the civil- 
izer of nations, the promoter of learning, the support of art and 
science, the friend of the downtrodden, the benefactress and lib- 
erator of the human race, the great central mart of all the lan- 
guages, their union depot. 

The Church is intensely aware of the immense importance of 
her high mission as teacher of nations, and of the greatness of the 
reward awaiting those who do and teach; and, therefore, reckons 
all labor sweet, all sacrifices easy, all losses gain, that she may ac- 
complish her task and be able to render a good account to the 
Prince of Pastors at His coming. Accordingly we see with what 
alacrity and devotedness the bishops and priests of the Catholic 
Church, from the very days of the Apostles down through every 
age, set themselves to evangelizing, and by evangelizing civilizing, 
elevating, and refining the world. Teaching is her first and indis- 
pensable duty, since " faith is the substance of things to be hoped 
for," the foundation of all Christian virtues. " Without faith it is 
impossible to please God." But faith cometh by hearing, and 
hearing by the word of God. And how can they hear without a 
teacher, a divinely sent teacher, an infallible teacher? Only the 
Catholic Church is such a teacher, only she is stamped with the 
seal of heaven, inerrancy, unity, apostolicity. 

The Apostles deemed it " not fit to leave the word .of God," 
even for corporeal works of mercy, and therefore elected deacons 
" to serve tables." The " Vessel of Election " says of himself, 
that he baptized very few, " for Christ sent me, not to baptize, but 
to preach the Gospel." He writes to Timothy, " Preach the word 

156 American Catholic Quarterly Review^ 

of God; be instant in season, out of season." The Apostles were 
cast into prison for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. An angel 
delivered them, and they went on preaching more forcibly than 
ever. They were charged by the rulers of the people and the an- 
cients, " not to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus." They 
answered, " If it be just in the sight of God to hear you rather 
than God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which 
we have seen and heard." And they went and " spoke the word 
of God with confidence." Sublime Non posstumis I so often 
repeated since, when "the Gentiles raged, and the people de- 
vised vain things: The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes 
assembled together against the Lord and against his Christ ;" aye, 
and against His Vicar on earth, the visible Head of the Church. 
Non possiumis^ cried St. Gregory the Seventh to Henry the Fourth. 
We cannot allow you to intrude your hirelings into the places of 
true pastors, nor see the flock intrusted to us perish for want of 
seasonable spiritual food. Some three centuries ago, it was at- 
tempted, on a large scale, to substitute the religion of Luther, or 
of Calvin, or of Henry the Eighth, for that of Jesus Christ, and it 
was proposed, at least, to modify this in several particulars ; but 
the whole Church, assembled in Council, energetically declared 
aloud, No7i posstimns. We cannot change or moclify the sacred 
deposit of revealed truth committed to our safe keeping, for it is 
absolutely unchangeable. Let the nations that will have the vari- 
able and varying novelties of man's devising, instead of the whole 
unadulterated truth, be cut off as rotten branches. And behold they 
have withered and decayed, and are now hardly recognizable under 
the varied forms of descending rationalism, of putrescent senti- 
mentalism, and the dry bones of agnosticism and evolutionism. 
Non possumns^ cried More and Fisher, as they ascended the scaf- 
fold. We can die, but we cannot accept Henry the Eighth as Pope, 
as supreme teacher of faith and morals. Non possunms, repeated 
all Ireland, after their bishops and priests, when, hunted down like 
wild beasts, they sought some secluded spot behind a remote 
hedge, or in the bogs, or on the mountain-side, where they might 
offer up the Holy Sacrifice, teach their flocks and minister to their 
spiritual wants, at the risk of paying the penalty of death for every 
such act, rendered treasonable by order of Queen Elizabeth. We 
cannot barter our faith for any consideration. Non possnmiis, said 
magnanimous Pius the Ninth, when the nations called upon him 
by the voice of public opinion to conform his teaching to the fash- 
ion of the age, which they styled progress. Then came Bismarck, 
ordering every Catholic priest and bishop off the Prussian soil if 
they did not accept the alternative of becoming tools of the state, 
and teaching its doctrine instead of the gospel of Jesus Christ ; 

W/tat the Languages Owe to the Catholic Church, 157 

and the bishops and priests, with one voice, cried out, No7i possti- 
jmis. They cheerfully incurred fines and penalties, prison and 
expatriation, by n9bly disregarding that mockery of law put forth 
in contravention to the command of God. Non possitmus, say the 
hierarchy and clergy of France to the laicizing tyrants of the Re- 
public. We cannot consent to worship Hugo, or Voltaire, or any 
other such deity of yours, instead of Jesus Christ. We cannot 
send our children to your schools, where such abominable super- 
stitions are taught and practised. We cannot give up our Christian 
schools ; we must have Christian teachers. Non possnmus,s2iy our 
zealous pastors, and our fervent practical Catholics at home, to the 
voice of a miserable petty economy. We cannot send our chil- 
dren to their godless public schools, nor risk their loss of faith, 
more precious than gold, for any paltry consideration. Of the 
two evils we prefer the less — the gross injustice of having to pay 
for schools that are a public nuisance. For the time being, we will 
build and support our own schools. Non possmmis, say those vigi- 
lant and conscientious parents, who feel the weight of their re- 
sponsibility, to a certain class of newspapers and periodicals. We 
cannot admit your worthless trash under our roof, nor allow our 
virtuous family to read your vile articles and foul pages, where our 
holy religion and venerable Mother Church are maligned and vil- 
lified, virtue ridiculed, sound principles ignored, and scenes of 
refined immorality and scandal presented attractively for pastime. 
Non possnntns, say those courageous youths whom the syren voice 
of the tempter would turn aside from the high paths of rectitude 
and honor. We cannot descend from the peaceful and delightful 
road of virtue into the low and crooked ways of vice and dishon- 
esty, nor exchange eternal joys for momentary pleasure. 

What St. Paul said of himself, " Woe is me, if I preach not the 
Gospel," has always been the sentiment of the Ecclesia docens. 
Woe unto me if I teach not the nations. It being of the very 
essence of her mission to teach all nations, the Church must have 
made the study of languages a duty of primary importance to all 
aspirants to the sacred ministry. The Propaganda at Rome, of 
polyglot celebrity, is a specimen of the care and attention bestowed 
upon this important subject throughout the Church's long and 
grand career. Speaking of the linguistic powers displayed by the 
students of this distinguished seat of learning, on occasion of the 
late visit of the Irish bishops to Rome, the Moniteiir de Rome, as 
quoted by the Ave Maria, says: "These literary productions, in 
language of every nation — from Hebrew, Chaldean, Persian, to 
Russian, English, and Italian— presented a remarkable proof of 
the cosmopolitan and civilizing work of the Propaganda. The re- 
citations were interspersed with songs or hymns peculiar to the 

I eg American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

country whose language was represented." It is well known that 
there are thirty-two languages spoken there. It is only the Cath- 
olic Church that could have given us that polyglot wonder of the 
world, Mezzofanti. 

The Catholic missionaries were not content with knowing and 
speaking the languages of the countries they went to evangelize 
and civilize. They wrote grammars and dictionaries of those lan- 
guages, had them published, and by their superior skill in the more 
perfect languages awakened in natives and foreigners attention to 
what they found good in those languages, thus attaching an im- 
portance to the subject it otherwise never would have had. " The 
missionaries of Central Africa," writes the Ave Maria a few weeks 
ago, "have had printed at Paris the first Ruganda grammar. This 
language is spoken by the people dwelling on the borders of Lake 
Victoria Nyanza. The missionaries, leaving no writings to assist 
them in its study, were obliged to depend solely upon conversations 
with the natives. The grammar is the result of three years' labor. 
A dictionary, containing six or seven hundred words, together 
with select stories and legends, was also prepared by these apos- 
tohc men, but, unfortunately, the manuscript was lost in a ship- 
wreck. They are, however, actively at work in repairing the 

Thus has the Church been ever improving and refining and 
elevating the languages at the same time that she has been advanc- 
ing the people intellectually and morally, socially and politically, 
individually and collectively. Take up any of the literatures of 
Europe; examine its origin, development and progress; study its 
genius, aptitudes and peculiarities, and you will invariably find 
that the Catholic Church has exercised by far the most powerful 
influence in bringing it to its present state of perfection. Bishop 
Ulphilas, between 360 and 379, translated almost the whole Bible 
into Moeso-Gothic, which is the earliest specimen extant of the 
Teutonic languages. He framed a new alphabet of twenty-four 
letters, four of which were invented by himself The Codex Ar- 
genteus (rather Aureus et Argenteus) is still preserved at Upsal, 
enclosed in a silver case. 

In his History of English Literature and Language Craik says 
(p. 27) : " It is somewhat remarkable that, while a good many 
names of the natives of Gaul are recorded in connection with the last 
age of Roman literature, scarcely a British name of that period of 
any literary reputation has been preserved, if we except a few 
which figure in the history of the Christian Church." But the first 
ages of English literature are equally remarkable for the conspicu- 
ous absence of other than names immediately connected with the 
Catholic Church. St. Gildas the Wise, the first English historian 

What the Languages Owe to the Catholic Church. 159 

of whom anything remains, was of course her son. There never 
was a saint out of her communion. She only put on a new and 
perfect form when her Divine Founder put on the form of man • 
she was the Church of God from the beginning, as she will be to 
the end. The next historical writer was a monk of Bangor, Nen- 
nius or Ninian. 

Now of all writers who do not treat ex professo of language, the 
historian does most for the language of that people for whom he 
writes, in its earliest stage. He writes for the whole people, and 
therefore must adopt a style at once plain and simple, yet suf- 
ciently dignified and diversified to meet the requirements of his 
subject. His object being to convey the truth of facts (we are not 
including our inventors of facts for scientific histories), his main 
point is to attach plain, intelligible signs to clear and fixed ideas, 
precluding the possibility of doubt or equivocation, the one thing 
most wanted in the first development of a language. 

Aldhelm, abbot of Malmesbury, and first Bishop of Sherborn, 
who died in 709, who "could write and speak Greek like a native 
of Greece," is the most ancient of the Latin writers among the 
Angles and Saxons whose works remain. But it may be asked, 
What have Latin and Greek, which the Catholic Church has in 
some sort made her own, to do with the English language ? Let 
G. P. Marsh answer : " The Latin Grammar has become a general 
standard, wherewith to compare that of all other languages, the 
medium through which all the nations of Christendom have be- 
come acquainted with the structure and philosophy of their own ; 
and technical grammar, the mechanical combinations of language, 
can be nowhere else so advantageously studied," except, of course, 
at Harvard ! 

Hear Mr. Marsh again : " I do but echo the universal opinion 
of all persons competent to pronounce on the subject, in express- 
ing my own conviction that the language and literature of ancient 
Greece constitute the most efficient instrument of mental training 
ever enjoyed by man ; and that a familiarity with that wonderful 
speech, its poetry, its philosophy, its eloquence, and the history it 
embalms, is incomparably the most valuable of intellectual pos- 
sessions. The Grammar of the Greek language is much more 
flexible, more tolerant of aberration, less rigid in its requirements, 
than the Latin." Remark here that, as intellectuality is the meas- 
ure of language, great indeed must be the gain to all our modern 
languages from the Greek, and great, too, should be our gratitude 
to the Catholic Church for having handed it down to us replete 
with a new and transcending importance, its being made the vehicle 
of the written word of God. 

Venerable Bede greatly enriched the English language. He 

i6o American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

wrote treatises on Grammar, the Logic of Aristotle, Orthography 
and Versification, all which bear directly on language. For logic, 
in fixing the thought, fixes also the expression, giving precision, 
cogency and clearness to the language. The accomplished author 
of Christian Schools and Scholars, speaking of Bede's numerous 
works (forty-five), makes these remarks: "There is one subject 
which engaged his attention that deserves a more particular notice ; 
I mean the labors he directed to the grammatical formation of his 
native language, a work of vast importance, which, in every coun- 
try where the barbarous nations had established themselves, had 
to be undertaken by the monastic scholars. Rohrbacher observes 
that St. Bede did much by his treatises on grammar and orthog- 
raphy to impress a character of regularity on the modern lan- 
guages which in the eighth and ninth centuries were beginning to 
be formed out of the Latin and Germanic dialects. Much more 
was his influence felt on the Anglo-Saxon dialect, in which he both 
preached and wrote. . . . Besides commenting on nearly the whole 
Bible, Bede is known to have translated both the Psalter and 
the Four Gospels. . . . Before their conversion to Christianity the 
Anglo-Saxons possessed no literature, that is to say, no written 
compositions of any kind, and their language had not therefore 
assumed a regular grammatical form. In this they resembled most 
of the other barbarous nations, of whom St. Irenaeus observes that 
they held the faith by tradition, * without the help of pen and ink ;' 
meaning, as he himself explains, that for want of letters they could 
have no use of the Scriptures." 

• Ex lino disce omnes. Thus the nations of Europe to-day use the 
very languages that were, with themselves, snatched from barbar- 
ism by the Catholic Church, to vilify their common benefactress. 
But " the servant is not above his master." Glorious sign of the 
Spouse of Christ ! " Blessed are you when men shall revile you, 
and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you 
falsely, for my sake." It is unnecessary to mention Wilfrid, Boni- 
face, Alfred, and other names of early renown in English litera- 
ture. We have seen what Bishop Ulphilas did for the Moeso- 
Gothic, and, therefore, for all the later Teutonic dialects, and con- 
sequently for the largest element in the English language. We 
have seen what Bede did for the Anglo-Saxon, and accordingly 
for our modern English. 

The next largest element in the English language, Latin, is 
altogether the language of the Church. Latin is one of the three 
languages that had been, in a manner, sanctified by touching the 
sacred emblem of redemption, whose privilege it was to proclaim 
the kingship of the Incarnate Word, and must not, therefore, per- 
ish. Like the Cross, to which it was fastened, it was destined to 

What the Languages Ozve to the Catholic Church. i6i 

be enshrined with honor, and to Hve a glorious life in the magnifi- 
cent ritual and awe-inspiring services of the Catholic Church. It 
is a dead language to the worldling and to those who are not of 
the household of the Faith ; but to the fervent Catholic, who in- 
stinctively recognizes the sweet accents of his beautiful mother- 
tongue, it has a charm that speaks to his heart of heaven and 
heavenly things. It was too near the adorable Head of the Man- 
God in His supreme ignominy, not to share in the halo of glory 
with which it was crowned in the resurrection. Now without the 
Latin there was no Italian, no French, no Spanish language. 
Without the Catholic Church, as everybody admits, there was no 
Latin, no Greek, no Hebrew worth mentioning, centuries ago. A 
few fragmentary fossil remains might possibly be casually dug up 
here and there from some buried archives or discovered in the 
vaults beneath a library cremation. But the Catholic Church 
touched them, and, behold, they live ! The word of life has been 
committed to them, and she guards them as the apple of her eye. 
Hebrew or Syro-Chaldaic and Greek had already been consecrated 
to the sacred purpose of transmitting the Old Testament from 
generation to generation ; and now Latin receives its hallowed 
contents augmented by the New, and carries them beyond the 
limits of the Roman Empire into regions over which her victorious 
eagle had never ventured his daring flight. 

" The introduction of Christianity among the Anglo-Saxons at 
the opening of the seventh " (close of the sixth) ''century," writes 
Noah Webster, " brought with it the study of the Latin. The cul- 
tivation of learning and letters belonged almost exclusively to 
ecclesiastics, with whom Latin was the professional language. 
Hence quite a number of Latin or Latinized Greek words passed 
into the Anglo-Saxon." So true is it that learning and culture 
have been introduced into the nations of Enrope, aye, and whereve'r 
they are found out of Europe, together with Christianity and civ- 
ilization, by the Catholic Church, that in several languages a 
learned man and clergyman are synonymous. Cleric in Anglo- 
Saxon, clerk in English, and clej^c in French, are instances, a fact 
which the Kultur-kampf \w Prussia and the anti-clericals in France 
seem sublimely to ignore. 

If Latin and her daughter French have, according to Webster, 
given four-fifths of its borrowed words to the English language, and 
if we take his word for it, as I think we may, that "if all the words 
in a large English dictionary were classed according to their ori- 
gin, it would appear that the foreign or non-Saxon words make a 
decided majority of the whole number," we can easily calculate 
the indebtedness of the English language to Latin and the indebt- 
edness of all who use it to the Catholic Church. In Milton's poet- 


1 62 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

ical works about two-thirds of the vocabulary are foreign, which 
shows how much we owe both for matter and form to that Church 
which he so heartily berated with his bitterest invective. But 
this is not so strange for one who shone in the golden age of the 
" Reformation," when in this, its last age, 

" Cui non invenit ipsa 
Nomen, et a nullo posuit Natura metallo," 

" Nature cannot frame 
A metal base enough to give it name," 

we hear G. P. Marsh lecture to post-graduates in Columbia Col- 
lege, N Y., in this strain : " The Romish Church, too, in England, 
as everywhere else, was hostile to all intellectual effort which in 
any degree diverged from the path marked out by ecclesiastical 
habit and tradition, and very many important English benefices 
were filled by foreign priests quite ignorant of the English tongue." 
Indeed! Why, without just such foreign influence the English 
tongue had remained the barbarous jargon the Catholic Church 
first found it, and the English people the savages Caesar and Taci- 
tus describe them. If by " intellectual effort " is meant the at- 
tempt to palm off some counterfeit article for genuine truth, whether 
in the natural or supernatural order, in philosophy or theology, 
science or history, the Church has always set her face against it, 
is professedly, irreconcilably, necessarily hostile to it, because she 
is the " pillar and ground of truth." For ** what fellowship hath 
light with darkness ? " Chameleon-like or Proteus-like, error may 
assume a new color or a new form at every new moon, may defend 
itself behind the rampart of power and fashion and talent, may 
lurk in the labyrinths of pretended science, the Catholic Church 
pursues it, dismantles it, exposes and throttles it. To every 
" Eirenicon " her answer is " Peace through the Truth." From 
Gnosticism to Agnosticism, from Arianism to the last phase of 
Protestantism^ Rationalism, there is not a single error of any note 
that has not felt her implacable hostility. 

And yet Mr. Marsh is frank enough to make the following 
statement in another lecture of the same series : " The missionary 
who goes armed with the cross, not with the sword, must use a 

speech intelligible to those whom he would convert The 

Gothic tribes generally were brought to Christianity by arguments 
and persuasions addressed to them by ministers speaking to every 
man in his own tongue." Every word of this is luminous with 
truth, if all be substituted for " generally," and if the interference 
of miracles on some occasions, and of supernatural divine grace 
on all occasions, be superadded to the " arguments and persua- 

W/taf the Languages Ozve to the Catholic Church. 163 

sions " as prime factors in Christianizing and civilizing not alone 
the Gothic tribes, but all the nations that have yet been civilized. 
To call Pagan enlightenment, with its revolting ritual and low 
moral status, civilization, shocks all sense. " Corrumpere et cor- 
rumpi saeculum vocatur," is the vouchment of Tacitus regarding 
Roman virtue and propriety in his day. 

But if the lecturer means that the Catholic Church has ever 
been hostile to any department of genuine science, arts, or letters, 
the history of the literature of every country, and of the intel- 
lectual development of every people, gives him the lie. Roger 
Bacon is a fair specimen of the circumscribed limits imposed 
upon " intellectual effort " in schools established by the Catholic 
Church in those benighted Middle Ages. His writings that are 
still preserved, of which the principal is that entitled his " Opus 
Majus " (or '* Great Work "), show that the range of his investigations 
included theology, grammar, the ancient languages, geometry, as- 
tronomy, chronology, geography, music, optics, mechanics, chem- 
istry, and most of the other branches of experimental philosophy. 
" In all these sciences," writes Mr. Craik, " he had mastered what- 
ever was then known ; and his knowledge, though necessarily 
mixed with much error, extended in various directions consider- 
ably farther than, but for the evidence of his writings, we should 
have been warranted in believing that scientific researches had 
been carried in that age." It is well known that his writings an- 
ticipate the discovery of the telescope, and that he was acquainted 
with the effects and composition of gunpowder ; but it may not 
be equally well known that it was at the suggestion of Pope 
Clement IV. that he gave to the world his " Opus Majus," so hostile 
was the Church from head to foot, then as now, to liberal educa- 
tion, to freedom of intellect. 

We will now take an example of the extent of learning on the 
Continent in those days, and this from the Dominicans, as our 
last was from the Franciscans, two of the teaching orders of the 
Catholic Church. " Albertus Magnus," says Humboldt, "was 
equally active and influential in promoting the study of natural 
science and of the Aristotelian philosophy His works con- 
tain exceedingly acute remarks on the organic structure and 
physiology of plants. One of his works, bearing the title of 
Liber Cosmographicus dc Natura Locorum, is a species of physical 
geography. I have found in it considerations on the dependence 
of temperature concurrently on latitude and elevation, and on the 
effect of different angles of incidence of the sun's rays in heating 
the ground, which have excited my surprise." 

Jourdain says of him : " Whether we consider him as a theolo- 
gian or a philosopher, Albert was undoubtedly one of the most 

164 Atnencan Catholic Quarterly Review. 

extraordinary men of his age ; I might say, one of the most 
wonderful men of genius that have appeared in past time." The 
Church has reared a goodly number of such men in every age, 
and still rears them, and will continue to rear them ; for she is 
to-day as radiant in youth and beauty and vigor as when she came 
forth, with the Pentecostal blessing on her brow, to regenerate the 
world, the fruitful Mother of heroic virtue and profound learning, 
of saints and savants. 

Thus again speaks M. Meyer of Albertus : " No botanist who 
lived before Albert can be compared to him, unless it be Theo- 
phrastus, with whom he was not acquainted ; and after him none 
has painted nature in such living colors, or studied it so pro- 
foundly, until the time of Conrad, Gesner, and Cesalpini. All 
honor, then, to the man who made such astonishing progress in the 
science of nature as to find no one, I will not say to surpass, but 
even to equal him for the space of three hundred years." 

Albert himself says of his book on botany : " All that is here 
set down is the result of our own experience, or has been borrowed 
from authors whom we know to have written what their personal 
experience has confirmed; for in these matters experience alone 
can give certainty." This shows that Albert was not alone in his 
devotion to the natural sciences, and that experimental sciences 
did not originate with Francis Bacon. It also shows that, if 
such was the proficiency, under the fostering care of the Church, 
of intellectual effort in departments most remote from sciences 
that have direct relation to mental operations, and consequently 
from immediate bearing upon language, the Church must have 
exerted on language a cumulative influence that can be calculated 
only by estimating the immense impetus she gave and continues 
to give to the arts and sciences individually. 

It is well known that all the great schools and universities of 
Europe between the 2d and 17th centuries were the creation of 
the Catholic Church. In the famous school of Alexandria, founded 
by St. Mark the Evangelist, we find, as early as 23i,Origen, pupil 
and successor of Clement, teaching St. Gregory and his brother 
Athenodorus " logic, in order to exercise their minds and enable 
them to discover true reasoning from sophistry ; physics, that they 
might understand and admire the works of God; geometry, 
which by its clear and indisputable demonstrations serves as a 
basis to the science of thought ; astronomy, to lift their hearts 
from earth to heaven ; and finally, philosophy, which was not 
limited, like that taught in the pagan schools, to empty specula- 
tions, but was conveyed in such a way as to lead to practical re- 
sults. All these were but steps to ascend to that higher science 
which teaches us the existence and nature of God. He permitted 

U'Tiat the Languages Ozve to the Catholic Qmrch. 165 

his pupils freely to read whatever the poets and philosophers had 
written on this subject, himself watching and directing their 
studies, and opening their eyes to distinguish those sparks of 
truth which are to be found scattered in the writings of the pagans, 
however overlaid by a mass of fable." 

There does not appear much circumscribing of "intellectual 
effort" here. It was encouraged, like the bee, to gather the 
honey of truth from every flower in every art and science. Well 
does Augusta T. Drane remark on this : " The real point worth 
observing is, that every branch of human knowledge, in so far as 
it had been cultivated at that time, was included in the studies of 
the Christian schools ; and, considering that this had been the 
work of scarcely more than two centuries, and those centuries of 
bloody persecution, it must be acknowledged to have been a tol- 
erably expansive growth." 

Yes, " growth " was stamped on every feature of human learn- 
ing under the generous patronage of the Catholic Church, until it 
established its great centres in the universities of Paris, Ox- 
ford, Cambridge, Bologna, Padua, Pisa, Louvain, etc. Of the 
" growth " of one of these, Oxford, from the day it was plundered 
by the " Reformation " to our own day. Sir William Hamilton 
writes : " Oxford is, of all academical institutions, at once the 
most imperfect and the most perfectible. 'Stat magni nominis 
umbra! " 

We grant that the Catholic Church prescribes limits to thought, 
and says to the most towering genius or daring intellect, Thus far 
and no farther ; but it is such check as reason herself imposes on 
such trespassers upon her domain as Mill, Fiske, and other 
agnostics, who claim that two and two may possibly make 
five, that truth is relative, that all that is unknowable which they 
cannot or do not comprehend, and such like absurdities. The 
Church has ever encouraged free thought until it has ceased to be 
reasonable, has rewarded intellectual effort so long as it has not 
become suicidal. Who has investigated the most abstruse prob- 
lems within the range of human thought more freely, fearlessly, or 
profoundly than St. Augustine and St. Thomas ? That Copernicus 
and Secchi were priests, did not hinder them from attaining their 
prominent place in science. The divinely-appointed infallible 
teacher of nations had too strong, too passionate a love for truth to 
allow any counterfeit impostor to usurp its honored place in the 
minds of men, under the specious name of philosophy or science. 
She knew beforehand the tough combat she had to enter with 
proud intellect wedded to cherished error, both in the service of a 
host of passions, and flattered by wealth, power, pomp and fashion. 
But, conscious of her strength, aided from on high, defended by 

1 66 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

truth while defending it, her motto has ever been, Magna est Veri- 
tas, ct prcevalebit. From Gnosticism and Neoplatonism in the 
Second and following centuries, to Agnosticism and Evolutionism 
in the 19th, her career has been one of conflict and of triumph. As 
Dr. Molloy tells us that he studied geology profoundly, in order to 
meet objections to revealed truth from that quarter, so St. Thomas 
studied Aristotle to meet Averroes on his own ground, proving as 
plain as two and two make four the absurdity of holding that all 
men have but one common intellect, the grand doctrine of the 
Arabian, whom his free-thinking contemporaries styled " the Com- 
mentator." This is the secret of the Church's devotedness to 
learning of every kind, always inculcating by word and example 
what one of her brightest ornaments has laid down in his world- 
wide wondrous little book : *' Learning is not to be blamed, nor 
the mere knowledge of anything, which is good in itself, and or- 
dained by God ; but a good conscience and a virtuous life are 
always to be preferred before it." 

Not alone must the Ecclesia doc ens be learned, the Ecclesia cre- 
dens, all the faithful, are exhorted to be " always ready to satisfy 
every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you." 
"Join with your faith, virtue ; and with virtue, knowledge." Hence 
a good Catholic will be ashamed not to be able to give a reason- 
able answer to any reasonable question about his faith. Unrea- 
sonable questions deserve no answer ; but may be shown to be 
unreasonable, or met with a smile of pity. Even illiterate, earnest 
Catholics have been found learned enough to give ample satisfac- 
tion to sincere inquirers, from their diligence in attending all the 
instructions of their pastors, whether in catechism or in sermons, 
missions, etc. 

Now, general culture of the arts and sciences, which the Church 
has always encouraged and promoted, and in which her children 
have always excelled, must necessarily tend to improve the several 
languages. There is so close a connection between thought and 
its expression, the idea and the word, the signified and the sign, 
that the expansion, refinement, and elevation of the former are in- 
variably attended, or followed, by a corresponding effect upon the 
latter. The enlightened mind ever finds a fluent tongue or ready 
pen, verifying the saying attributed to Socrates : " He is eloquent 
enough who knows his subject well enough." This is also a con- 
vincing proof that, with the gift of high intelligence, language was 
originally given to man directly by his bountiful Creator. Think- 
ing cannot go far, nor deep, nor high, without its natural helpmate, 
language, as any one may find by experiment. Neither can lan- 
guage travel alone without intelligence, which called it into being, 
and which preserves its being by recognizing its significance. Lan- 

What the Languages Owe to the Catholic Church. 167 

guage is for intelligence, not intelligence for language ; and hence 
language may be dispensed with in certain cases, intelligence never. 
Language is necessary, because society is necessary. The Creator 
founded society by creating the family : He also gave it what it 
absolutely wants, language. Humboldt says that, if we accept 
not this, he knows of no explanation of the origin of that which 
is coeval and co-extensive with society. Upon this necessary con- 
nection between intelligence and language have I rested the above 
statement, that, but for the superior intelligence of the members 
of the Catholic Church, both lay and clerical, especially her Re- 
ligious Orders, the three learned languages, Hebrew, Greek, and 
Latin, had long since lain buried in oblivion. How could the bar- 
barian hordes from the North, Vandals, Goths, Huns, etc., appre- 
ciate what they could not understand ? Their inutility had been 
their death-warrant. All had shared the fate of the Alexandrian 
library had it not been for the monks and churchmen of the Middle 
Ages, whose unwearied toil some are too enlightened to recognize. 

The influence of the Church upon the various languages has 
been exercised in yet another way, which we are apt to overlook ; 
we mean the nice precision and wonderful exactness of her official 
statements in all her doctrines. Like her Divine Founder, the 
Church never has " It is and it is not" in her teaching. She has 
never need of issuing a revised edition of her former pronounce- 
ments. The Pillar and Ground of Truth, she stamps the pure gold 
of truth with her infallible signet, and there it remains truth for 
aye, unchangeable and imperishable as its Infinite Source. The 
word that is to be admitted as the sign of this truth, the silver 
casket for the golden gem, is also nicely weighed, adjusted with 
all accuracy, and sent forth on its errand under no mistakable 
colors. It is the same word for the same idea, and the same idea 
for the same truth, thenceforth ever after as long as there are people 
to use that language. So precious is truth in her estimation that 
she condescends to examine in minutest detail every word, and 
every letter and accent in every word, as in homoousios and homoi- 
ousios {d/joovacoc; and dfioiovGutg), theotokos and theotokos {QeojoKoq and 
QtoroKoq), marking the notable difference a letter or an accent may 
make in the truth conveyed. 

Now this carefulness and exactness in the use of words extend 
through the whole domain of theology and philosophy. Words 
are not allowed to run slipshod under a haze of indefiniteness. 
Every pastor of souls, every priest empowered by her authority 
to preach the divine word, every writer who touches upon sub- 
jects connected with the sacred deposit committed to her keepmg, 
must be severely on his guard in the use of words, that he may 
not come under her merciless censures. Hence the various 

i6S American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

languages throughout the civilized world are made the special 
study of a large number of close students in the most perfect 
languages of all times. The result is a habit of exact thinking 
and apt expression, than which no greater gain can accrue to 
language. It was the want of this that Socrates charged so 
pointedly against the Sophists of his day. Indefiniteness of ex- 
pression is always the shuffling contrivance of sophistry. Some, 
too, that abhor sophistry are under the mistaken notion that 
repeating the same word in the same sentence, or, if it can pos- 
sibly be avoided, even in the same paragraph, argues a dearth in 
one's vocabulary, lack of skill in arrangement, or of taste to 
appreciate the charms of novelty. Such persons should never 
wear a second time, during the same month or year, the same 
coat, or hat, or shoes, lest they be convicted of poverty ; nor drink 
coffee again till they have gone the rounds of all possible bever- 

If the idea is good, i.e., exactly represents its object, and the 
word exactly fits the idea, no other word should be allowed to 
take its place. The surpassing beauty of truth shines forth 
through every word that is an exact counterpart of the idea, 
when this idea is in perfect conformity with its object. This con- 
formity is found in infinite perfection in the Verbum Sternum, a 
conformity so unutterably perfect that all the beauty, goodness, 
and excellence of the Father is seen expressed in the " Figure of 
His Substance and the Splendor of His Glory," an absolute one- 
ness of nature and perfections being common to the three Ador- 
able Persons of the August Trinity. 

And here, again, the Fathers and Doctors of the Catholic 
Church, in expounding to the extent of human capacity the grand 
mysteries of our holy faith, have poured a sea of light upon many 
important and abtruse questions connected with the philosophy of 
the human mind, its faculties, and their operations. For, as the 
soul of man is made to the image of God, there must be an 
analogy, faint though it necessarily be, between the eternal simple 
operation in the Trinity, which operation our complex nature 
must contemplate as multiple, and the manifold operations of our 
several faculties. Thus the light of faith, enlightening instead of 
extinguishing the light of reason, enables man to see the simili- 
tude betw^een the Divine Word and our verbtini mentale, which 
mental word true philosophy discovers in every act of intellection, 
in the completion of every idea. Every idea implies an intellect 
knowing and an object known. The Divine Intellect, as being 
infinite, must necessarily be active, and consequently must have 
an infinite object, which object is the Divine Nature or Essence, in- 
finite being, infinite reality. Faith tells us that this Infinite Nature, 

What the Languages Owe to the Catholic Church. 169 

one and indivisible, is equally possessed by three Divine Persons, 
perfectly distinct and perfectly equal, the Father, the Son, and 
the Holy Ghost. Reason, also, shows us in our own minds in every 
act of intellection an image of this trinity in unity. The object 
known is one and the same to the intellect that knows, the idea 
through which it knows, and the affection or emotion consequent 
upon this knowledge. It is the same soul that knows as intellect, 
that is modified as idea, that is affected or moved by such knowl- 
edge and such modification. The intellect that knows, in the idea 
through which it knows, knows also itself; for the idea is the in- 
tellect modified. Known thus, the intellect knows itself in act, 
which knowledge is often expressed by the formula. We know 
that we know. This is properly an act of consciousness, the 
vaguest of vague terms in the hands of many recent writers, 
especially Agnostics, which, however, is nothing else than intel- 
lect cognizing itself and its own and the mind's present state. 
Knowing that it knows, the intellect affirms or expresses to itself 
this knowledge, which expression is called mental word, verbiim 
mentale, in relation to the mind, idea in relation to the object it 
represents. This idea or mental word is begotten of the intellect 
in conjunction with the object known or mentally conceived, and, 
hence, is sometimes called concept. It may also be called the 
offspring of the intellect, though not of it alone, man being essen- 
tially dependent not alone on his Creator, but on creatures also, 
for every act of every faculty. This offspring exists as soon as 
intellect is called into act or exists in act. 

These facts, which a moment's reflection upon our own mental 
activity makes evident, will enable us to understand a little, very 
little, to be sure, but still some little, of what faith teaches us with 
absolute certainty regarding the first and greatest of mysteries. The 
Father, Infinite Intelligence, knowing Himself, expresses this 
knowledge to Himself, and thus begets His Eternal Son, the Ver- 
bum Divinum, who, because of the infinite perfection of that knowl- 
edge, is a subsisting personality, the very *' figure of the Father's 
substance and the splendor of His glory," at once infinitely known 
and infinitely knowing. This Verbum was conceived or begotten 
of the Father before all ages, i.e. eternally, because from eternity 
as necessarily existing as the Father is necessarily knowing; and, 
because so generated and so existing, is called the Eternal Son of 
God. The Son is necessary as the Father is necessary. Even so 
is our mental word necessary to every act of intellection, and exists 
as soon as intellect exists in act. Our oral word is but the out- 
ward manifestation of the mental word. This we are free to utter 
or not, as we please. God, too, was free to create or not to create 
the universe and all it contains, which may be called His eternal 

lyo American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

word, *' Cceli enarrant gloriam Dei'' as also to utter his revealed 
word. But all that he has outwardly expressed, whether by crea- 
tion or by revelation. He eternally expressed in the Uncreated 
Word, the Coeternal Son; "and without Him was made nothing 
that was made." 

It is a mistake to suppose, as some do, that the oral word ex- 
presses the object directly and immediately. It is by expressing 
the mental word or idea, which represents the object, that the oral 
word expresses also the object. 

In thus tracing the analogy between the Divine Mind and our 
mind, besides the incomparable distance between the infinite and 
the finite, in every particular, the following are noteworthy points 
of difference. Created entities depend for their existence upon 
their prototypes or the exemplar ideas of them in the Divine Mind, 
which are the measure of existences. Our ideas depend for their 
existence upon created entities, and are measured by them. Cre- 
ated entities exist in consequence of the Divine ideas of them. Our 
ideas exist in consequence of created entities existing. In con- 
forming our ideas to existing created entities, which are all con- 
formed to their prototypes in the Divine Mind, we are so far being 
conformed to the Divine Mind. But as everything in the Divine 
Mind is perfection, we are by the same conformity tending to per- 
fection, at least intellectually. Therefore the proper use of our 
faculties in attaining truth leads to God, the Fountain of all truth, 
being led through creatures "from Nature up to Nature's God." 
Hence the pursuit of learning is a laudable one. Every entity is 
at once true and good, reminding us of the infinite Ocean of Truth 
and Goodness whence it issued. If, therefore, our will follows 
right reason in loving the good, every act of knowing is accom- 
panied or followed by an act of loving the Infinite Good, and " to 
them that love God all things work together unto good." 

Since words are arbitrary signs, having no natural connection 
with the ideas signified, it is a strange whim that has led certain 
parties to claim a vast superiority for words of Saxon origin over 
other derivatives in the English language. It is of a piece with 
" There is no spot on earth like the land of my birth." That there 
is more force or terseness in Anglo-Saxon than in Anglo-Latin 
words is negatived by the fact that, in some of the choicest and 
most vigorous writings in the English language, such as Junius's 
Letters, Johnson's Letter to Lord Chesterfield, Burke's masterpiece, 
the Latin element largely predominates ; and that they possess 
more sweetness, harmony or beauty, some of the best poetry in the 
language, such as Milton's and Lord Byron's, equally denies. We 
do not stop at the sign ; we go to what it signifies. It would take 
a Herbert Spencer to see ** the greater forcibleness of Saxon-Eng- 

What the Lajtguages Owe to the Catholic Church. 171 

lish, or rather non-Latin English," or the economy of using 
'' original words used in childhood," making it preferable to 
'* have " than to ''possess,'' to " wish " than to " desire,'' to " ihi7ik " 
than to " reflect," to have ** play " than " aimiseinerit," etc. No mat- 
ter whence, or how, or when a word came into reputable use, if it 
expresses the idea clearly and fully, it is ridiculous childishness 
to put it aside in deference to any other. Give us the writer or 
speaker that has clear thoughts, something worth communicating, 
and holds out to us unmistakable signs through which we can at 
once grasp his whole meaning, and we care not if they are mono- 
syllabic or sesquipedalian, indigenous or exotic, idiomatic or im- 
ported, old or new. Refusing a well-fitting word because. of its 
origin, is like refusing to be clothed in an excellent garment on 
the plea that the material of which it is made is the product of a 
foreign soil. The writer or speaker should choose that word 
which, by common consent, has become the recognized sign of his 
idea, on receipt of which the hearer or reader forms in his own 
mind the corresponding idea. Thus the two minds are so far at 
one, being conformed to the same sign, the one matching the sign 
to his idea, the other matching his idea to the sign, and conse- 
quently represent to themselves the same identical object. 

We are too near the utmost limits of a review article to even 
touch upon some of the many philological vagaries put forth as 
theories regarding the progressive development of words from the 
original inarticulate chattering of the autochthonous pre-human 
miitiini peciis, Darwin's progenitors, to our inimitable nonpareil, " the 
well of English undefiled." Their first principle, that savagery 
was man's primeval state, then barbarism, enlightenment, and finally 
culture, culminating in science, is one of those assumptions of 
Necessary Frogressionism which laughs at the idea of verification 
by anything in the past or present, its all-sufficiency being suffi- 
ciently guaranteed by its adoption by the Evolutionists. It counts 
nothing that the best poet, the best orator, one of the best philoso- 
phers, the best sculptor, and the best painter, ever trumpeted by 
fame, flourished from twenty-eight to twenty-two centuries ago. 
A thousand years are as one day to Progress ! . Their second 
principle, that all words have come from monosyllabic roots, is re- 
buked by nearly every word in the American Indian's vocabulary. 
Monosyllabic words being first in use, and men being first savages, 
according to these wise men, it follows that the language of savages 
should be monosyllabic. Therefore, Minnesota, Minnehaha, Mis- 
sissippi, Missouri and Chicago are monosyllables. Philology! 
How wonderfully prolific! 

172 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

g^rientific OTljronicle. 


In the '^Chronicle" for last January we noticed the announcement 
made by Mr. Edison of a new and more perfect form of his phonograph. 
Since then, the details of the new instrument have been made public. 
Moreover, two other perfected forms of the same invention have been 
brought forward by rival inventors. The first of these is the Grapho- 
phone of Mr. Charles Sumner Tainter, a gentleman already well known 
as Mr. Bell's associate in some of the latter's most interesting investi- 
gations. The sec6nd is the Gramophone devised by Mr. Emile Berliner, 
who has won fame and fortune by originating the secondary circuit sys- 
tem of telephonic communication now in universal use. In all essen- 
tial particulars, Edison's and Tainter's instruments are almost identical. 
Their object is to record the vibrations of articulate speech, and to re- 
produce the sounds at any future period, avoiding, at the same time, the 
defects of Edison's first phonograph. These defects consisted chiefly 
in a want of distinctness in the articulation of the reproduced sounds. 
This defect was so great that it was almost impossible to understand the 
reproduction unless the original sounds had been heard by the listener. 
Some consonants, too, were much less perfectly recorded than others. 
These imperfections were due to the intractable nature of the tin-foil 
used for receiving the indentations, and to the fact that the same dia- 
phragm was employed both for receiving and reproducing the sounds. 
Moreover, the great delicacy of adjustment needed in the original in- 
strument made its results very unsatisfactory, except in the hands of an 
expert manipulator. In remedying these defects, none of the rival in- 
ventors have made so radical a departure from the principle of the first 
phonograph as that suggested by the writer of our ''Chronicle" for 
January. The suggestion there advanced is, that the voice be made to 
put in vibration a diaphragm which should cause small holes to be punc- 
tured in a sheet, metallic or otherwise, in a way similar to those made 
by the electric pen. Then a current of air passed through these holes 
successively would reproduce the sounds. This method seems worthy 
of trial. But Edison and Tainter have adhered strictly to the outlines 
of the original phonograph. A cylinder coated with a specially pre- 
pared and hardened wax, in place of the older tin-foil, is revolved by a 
small electric motor, or other means giving uniform motion. Just above 
the cylinder, a diaphragm is supported which holds, on its lower surface, 
a cutting blade instead of the needle of the old instrument. When the 
mouthpiece is spoken into, the vibrations of the diaphragm cause the 
blade to cut into the wax surface of the revolving cylinder. At the 
same time, by means of a screw, the diaphragm is advanced slowly in a 

Scientific Chronicle. 17^ 

direction parallel to the length of the cylinder. The sound vibrations 
are thus recorded on the wax, in spiral lines, in the form of minute in- 
dentations. To reproduce the sound, the receiving diaphragm is re- 
placed by one of much lighter material, bearing a light needle that rests 
delicately upon the indentations cut in the wax. As the cylinder is 
again made to revolve, the point of this needle passes over the former 
path made by the cutting blade, and its diaphragm consequently repro- 
duces faithfully the sounds before uttered into the receiving mouthpiece. 
Although the instrument is greatly improved, still, some even scientific 
papers have, we think, been too extravagant in their praise. It is cer- 
tain that no one would take the same pleasure in a piece of music re- 
peated by the phonograph that he would in listening to the original. 
Still, some have indulged such fancies. The reproduced sound, more- 
over, is so faint that in order to hear it it is ordinarily necessary to make 
use of a tube leading from the mouthpiece to the ear. 

Mr. Berliner has departed somewhat more widely Trom the type of 
Edison's first phonograph. He goes back to Leon Scott's phonauto- 
graph, the prototype of all instruments for recording sound vibrations. 
His stylus is a lever, pivoted at right angles to the diaphragm, and mag- 
nifying its vibrations in the record. In order to secure a really imper- 
ishable record, from which the sound may be repeated as often as desired, 
without impairing its perfection, Mr. Berliner substitutes for the receiv- 
ing cylinder a zinc plate coated with soft wax. After the indentations 
corresponding to the sound vibrations have been impressed upon the 
wax coating by the stylus, the plate is immersed in a bath of chromic 
acid, which quickly etches the indentations into the zinc itself. There 
seems to be no reason why this method could not be applied equally 
well to the apparatus of Edison and Tainter. A cylinder of zinc, with 
the indentations etched upon its surface, would evidently form a much 
more durable record, and one much less liable to injury in the reproduc- 
ing process than a cylinder merely coated with wax. Indeed, although 
Mr. Edison claims that '* one of these wax blanks will repeat its contents 
thousands of times with undiminished clearness," we must be excused 
if we are somewhat incredulous. It is difficult to see how a surface that 
is so easily cut into by the blade of the receiving diaphragm should suc- 
cessfully resist even the slightest abrasion from the needle of the repro- 
ducing diaphragm, however light and delicately adjusted the latter may 
be. If, however, the zinc cylinder be objected to, or be found unlaw- 
ful in consequence of the Berliner patents, would it not perhaps be 
possible to substitute for the wax some substance which, while receiving 
the indentations with equal facility, could afterwards, by immersion in 
some suitable reagent, be made to assume a strong or almost metallic 
consistency? Gelatine is an instance of a substance that hardens on 
immersion in a solution of alum. Of course it would not receive the 
indentations as well as the wax, but it suggests the possibility of an im- 
provement in this direction. An electrotype can reproduce very fine 
lines — why not the minute marks on the wax cylinder? There are, it is 
true, many difficulties to be overcome in endeavors to improve the ma- 

174 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

chine in this direction, but the vaUie of the instrument would be so 
much enhanced that all the labor would be well repaid. Innumerable 
practical uses for the improved phonographs have been suggested and 
prophesied by the enthusiastic inventors. Most of these are probably 
more fanciful than practical. One, however, will undoubtedly prove of 
great importance, and will assure the instrument a fair sale from the very 
start. This is, to replace the stenographer in receiving all kinds of dic- 
tation, which may then be written out at leisure by the copyist, or with 
the aid of the type-writer. In this respect, the instrument will certainly 
prove itself far cheaper and at the same time more accurate and con- 
venient than its human rival. In conclusion, we venture to assert that 
the "perfected" phonograph has not yet received all the perfection of 
which it is capable, and that, if a commercial future is once assured to 
it, hosts of inventors will invade the field offered by it for investigation 
and improvement. 


So much has been said of late in regard to the phenomena observed 
on Mars, that perhaps a brief review of the facts and theories may be 
of interest. The analogy between Mars and the Earth lends peculiar 
charm to all the inquiries into the physical condition of our planetary 

Mars is the next planet beyond the Earth in order of distance from 
the Sun, and at its most favorable oppositions is about 35,000,000 miles 
from us. In this position, however, very good views of the planet can 
be had, and, as far back as 1636, dark stains were observed on the ruddy 
disk of Mars. In 1666 they were seen with sufficient distinctness to 
serve as indices of the planet's rotation on its axis, which rotation 
Cassini determined as taking place in 24 h. and 40 m. But this time of 
rotation has since been corrected to 24 h. 37 m. 22.7 sec, while the 
dusky spots and streaks have been classified as oceans and straits, and 
the bright portions as land. That the surface of Mars is diversified by 
land and water we are reasonably certain. Moreover, two bright patches 
near the poles are supposed to be regions of snow. This conjecture is 
strengthened by the fact that they wax and wane with variations in the 
Martian seasons, as do the regions of snow on the Earth with variations 
in our seasons. Therefore, Mars must have an atmosphere containing 
clouds. The presence of aqueous vapor on Mars was, in fact, proved by 
Huggins in 1867, who found, while analyzing the light of the planet, 
the characteristic dark rays due to the absorptive action of water-vapor. 
Clouds, too, have been observed floating in the atmosphere of Mars, and 
at times these mists so blur the disk that the observer must daily, nay 
hourly, especially when the local winter prevails, trace the details of the 
surface through transits of clouds. The atmosphere in which these clouds 
are suspended is much thinner than ours, for, since the planet is smaller, 
gravity is less there than at the surface of the Earth. A man weighing 

Scientific Chronicle. I ye 

one hundred and fifty pounds here would weigh but sixty pounds there. 
The atmospheric covering, then, on Mars is much sparser, and its pres- 
sure about two and a quarter terrestrial pounds instead of fifteen. In 
1877 Schiaparelli, director of the Milan Observatory, found that what 
were taken as large continents were, in many cases, groups of islands, 
separated from each other by a network of canals. In 1882 this same 
observer saw these same canals, but with this peculiarity, that many of 
them were seen in duplicate, that is, a twin canal ran parallel to the 
original one. These double canals have been seen by but one other 
observer, Mr. Perrotin, director of the Nice Observatory. He has traced 
three of them from the southern seas to the north polar regions, across 
land and sea. No one else has ever traced them so far through land and 
water, so that, if these observations are correct, many of the theories 
advanced to explain them must be abandoned. Mr. Fizeau refers these 
stripes to glacial action, and suggests that the stripes are cracks in huge 
masses of ice, seeing an analogy between them and th*e rifts in terrestrial 
glaciers. As the planet has a peculiar red color, there would certainly 
be some difficulty in accounting for the red color of these fields of ice. 
The temperature of the planet, too, is such, judging from the variations 
in the extent of the polar snows and ice, that these glaciers should melt. 
Why, then, do they remain? It is equally difficult to admit that they 
are water-ways or rivers, for, according to Perrotin, they flow on through 
the ocean as well as through the land. This same difficulty prevents the 
acceptance of Mr. Procter's explanation that these twin canals are dif- 
fraction-images of rivers, produced by the mist which hangs over the 
river-beds. But, before any of these theories are rejected, more exten- 
sive observations must be made. The difficulty of the work may be 
gathered from the fact that maps constructed on the observations of re- 
liable astronomers agree in but a very few special features. We looked, 
naturally, to our great Lick telescope to settle some of these points. 
Owing, however, to necessary delays in completing the observatory, no 
observations could be made until the middle of July. By this time the 
best season for watching the planet, namely, April and May, had passed ; 
but, from the middle of July to the end of August Mars was carefully 
lollowed ; the canals were seen, but there was no evidence of their being 
double. The story told by the Lick telescope is no doubt reliable, for 
it has shown its great power of penetrating the secrets of the heavens 
by following the details on Mars two months later than other instru- 
ments. Another startling disclosure made by Mr. Perrotin with regard 
to Mars was the submergence of the continent Libya. Later, however, 
he stated that the sea had receded, leaving the continent only partially 
submerged. Professor Holden, with his great telescope, found the con- 
tinent as he had observed it all along since 1877. So that if any change 
had taken place, which seems doubtful, it certainly left Libya Unaltered. 
That there are peculiar stripes on Mars is clear from the observations of 
so many astronomers, and that these stripes vary, appear and disappear, 
is also evident from the variations in the observations. How, then, ac- 
count for these changes? The theory that presents the least difficulty 

176 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

is, that they are due to differences in vegetation. The stripes may rep- 
resent patches of vegetation which vary in size, or disappear with changes 
in the seasons. From ascertained facts, the surface of Mars is composed 
of land and water; the planet has snow, clouds, rain, an atmosphere, 
and a temperature not much less than ours. All these conditions are 
favorable to the growth of organic life ; moreover, the spectroscope 
teaches us that the elements in Mars are the same as our own. Hence 
it is highly probable that there is a rich vegetation on Mars. Now, if 
the changes in the stripes are due to variations in the vegetation, they 
should follow some rule, they should be guided by the seasons and be 
somewhat progressive from the equator towards the poles. Such a change 
has been observed in the patch known as Hades. The stripe is in 
north latitude, and runs almost north and south. As Mr. Pickering, of 
the Harvard Observatory, has pointed out, the southern portion of 
Hades, which had been a well-defined stripe, entirely disappeared in 
the latter part of the Martian summer. We look forward, however, to 
other observations to settle these interesting questions, and expect the 
large telescope on Mount Hamilton to bring to light many details during 
the opposition of 1890, and the more favorable one of 1892. 


The ''Chronicle" for April, 1888, gives a short description of the 
principles of spectrum analysis, and points out the wide field open to 
the spectroscopist who wishes to investigate the simple character of our 
chemical elements. Professor Griinwald, of Prague, whose work has 
been in this direction, has established a law which, by its simplicity and 
the number of coincidences, cannot fail to attract attention, and may 
become the basis of a future mathematico-chemical analysis. He has 
not only determined a relation between the spectra of hydrogen and 
oxygen, and their compound water, but has brought out what appears 
to be the fact of the chemical composition of hydrogen and oxygen, 
and the separate existence of the elements of hydrogen in the atmosphere 
of the sun. To understand the theory, let us suppose two elements, A 
and B, capable of forming a gas C. When the gas C is examined by 
the spectroscope, there will be certain wave-lengths of light, due to the 
element A. If, however, the compound gas C be united chemically with 
some other substance, so as to form a second compound, D, which will 
contain A, but in a way different from that in which C contained it, the 
spectrum of D will also have wave-lengths of light due to A. The 
wave-lengths of light due to A, in both these cases, are not the same, 
but bear to each other the same ratio as the atomic volume of ^ in C 
bears to the atomic volume of ^ in D. Professor Grunwald detects in 
the spectrum of hydrogen two groups of lines so arranged that the 
wave-lengths of one group multiplied by i|-, and those of the other by 
I", give the wave-lengths of the corresponding lines in the water-vapor 

Scientific Chronicle. 1 77 

spectrum. Hence, he concludes that hydrogen is composed of two 
elements. If, then, a and b represent the volumes of these two elements, 
a -\- b=^\, the unit volume of hydrogen ; and since hydrogen is J of the 
atomic volume of water-vapor, we liave, according to the theory, Vka-\- 
tb = ^. From these two equations, a = ^, and b = \; therefore, hy- 
drogen is a compound of ba, which, on separation, will expand in the 
ratio of 3 to 2. The spectrum of these two elements can be obtained 
from the spectra of hydrogen. Multiplying the wave-lengths in group 
^ by f we obtain the line for a^ and in a smilar way we find the line for 
b. Professor Griinwald has identified the line for b with the Helium 
line of Angstrom's scale, and the line for a with the corona line of 
Kirchoff's map. Hence, he suggests that these two constituent ele- 
ments of hydrogen be called "Coronium" and "Helium." The pri- 
mary element, *' Coronium," must be a gas several times lighter than 
hydrogen. It is a strange coincidence that just as Professor Griinwald's 
theory was proposed, another law should be deduced from a different 
source, demanding the existence of elements such as the new theory of 
spectrum analysis points out. This new law is the logarithmic law of 
the atomic weights. It was explained by Dr. Johnstone Stoney to the 
members of the chemical section at the late meeting of the British As- 
sociation. If, as seems likely, this is a law of nature, there must be three 
elements lighter than hydrogen. By like considerations to those given 
above. Professor Griiriwald found that oxygen was made up of the hy- 
drogen that gives the second spectrum, already mentioned, and another 
substance which he resolves into four parts, by volume, of b, and five 
parts of another substance which is again resolved into four parts of b, 
and an unknown primary substance, c. He has also resolved magnesium 
and carbon into b and c. This theory is startling, and although not yet 
fully investigated, still throws some suspicion on the simple character of 
hydrogen and our other elementary substances. 


To explain the action of two electrified bodies upon each other physi- 
cists have, for a long time, been divided into two camps; the one, seeing 
in electrical attraction and repulsion a confirmation of the doctrine of 
action at a distance, the other as strenuously advocating the necessity 
and therefore the existence of a medium. There was no empirical proof 
of the existence of such a medium for electricity. Since light takes 
eight minutes to come from the sun to the earth, a medium must be ad- 
mitted to explain what becomes of the light after leaving the sun and 
before reaching the earth. But electro-magnetic induction was, 'as far as 
we could see, instantaneous, and even where there was delay, as in tele- 
graphing and in magneto-electric transmission by means of conductors, 
the supporters of action at a distance gave an explanation. Somethmg 
further, then, was required to settle the question. As all doubt about 
VOL. XIV. — 12 

iy8 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

a. medium for light was banished by the experiments of Young and 
Fresnel, so, too, the experiments lately made by Hertz, in Germany, 
settle the question for electro-magnetic action ; for, if the phenomena 
of the interference of light demand a medium, assuredly the interference 
of electro-magnetic waves, as observed by Hertz, postulates a medium 
in which these waves exist. The German physicist produced rapidly 
alternating currents, having a wave length of about two metres. These 
he detected by the principle of resonance, a principle illustrated by the 
fact that regular well-timed pushes with the finger against a heavy bell 
will, after a short time, cause it to swing through a large arc. Hertz 
then made a circuit whose rate of vibration for electric currents was the 
same as that of his generator. His generator induced currents in this 
resonant circuit, and he was able to see the sparks due to the induced 
vibrations leaping across an air-space in the resonant circuit. The 
regular electrical impulses broke down the resistance of the air, as the 
regular pushes on the bell overcame its inertia. He placed his gene- 
rator several wave-lengths from a wall, and placed the receiving reso- 
nant circuit between the generator and the wall, and in this air-space 
observed that sparks appeared and disappeared at regular intervals, due 
to the interference of the incident electric waves, and those reflected 
from the wall. We have a similar phenomenon in light, known as 
Lloyd's bands, due to the interference of direct and reflected waves of 
light. By this experiment the ethereal theory of electro-magnetism is 
established, and it becomes clear that electro-magnetic actions are due 
to a medium pervading all space, the same medium, in fact, by which 
light-waves are propagated. This is likely but the first step in a series 
of investigations that may throw light on the constitution of the ether. 
To it we may have to look for an explanation of chemical action, and, 
possibly, of gravitation. This discovery will, undoubtedly, have a prac- 
tical bearing. In all known illuminating processes, there is with the 
generation of light a simultaneous generation of a great amount of heat, 
which, as far as illuminating purposes are concerned, is lost. We look 
forward, then, to the experiments of the many scientists who have taken 
up this line of investigation for a practical method of generating light 
without the simultaneous production of a large amount of useless heat. 

Book Notices, lyg 

13oofe iBtoticrg, 

Narrative and Critical History of America. With Bibliographical and 
Descriptive Essays on its Historical Sources and Authorities. Illustrated. 
Vols, n., HI. and IV. Edited by Justin Winsor, Librarian of Harvard Uni- 
versity, Corresponding Secretary of Massachusetts Historical Society. Boston 
and New^ York : Houghton, Mifflin & Company. The Riverside Press, Cam- 

Under this title Messrs, Houghton, Mifflin & Co. have commenced 
the publication of what they propose shall be '* a complete and exhaustive 
history of the American Continent," from prehistoric times to the 
middle of the present century. The work is to be comprised in eight 
royal octavo volumes of about six hundred pages each, and is profusely 
illustrated with maps, views, portraits and fac-simile reproductions of 
historical documents. 

In addition to the claims which the magnitude of the undertaking 
and the importance of the subject and the ability of the writers employed 
have upon public attention, it is believed by the projectors of the work 
that these claims, strong though they be, are overshadowed by the sur- 
passing excellence of the method that has been adopted. 

The method referred to bears the same relation to history which 
'*the inductive method of Bacon and the comparative method in the 
applied sciences do to present scientific and philosophic progress," 
and which the projectors of the work before us think ''have revolution- 
ized civilization." They claim for their work that it ''embodies a true 
method of historical investigation." Inasmuch, too, as the "labor of 
research in covering even a very limited period of history, precludes the 
possibility of doing full justice " to it by any one individual, they have 
adopted the ^'■co-operative^' plan. 

In carrying this idea into practical effect the work has been placed 
under the editorial supervision of Mr. Justin Winsor, Librarian of 
Harvard University, etc., assisted by a committee of five distinguished 
members of the Massachusetts Historical Society, who have consented to 
advise with the editor during the progress of the work. Each special 
subject is assigned by the editor to a historical writer who, it is believed 
by him, is eminently qualified to treat it. The different chapters, as 
a rule, consist of two parts : First, a Historical Narrative sufficiently 
full for ordinary use, and which groups the salient points of the story, 
and serves as a text or essay which follows it. Second, a Critical Ess ay ^ 
which is intended to describe " the original sources of the preceding 
narrative — manuscripts, monuments, archaeological remains, with ac- 
counts of their discovery, their transmission to later times, their vicissi- 
tudes, as well as the places, libraries, museums, etc., where they are to 
be found; the writers, contemporary, early, or late, who have become 
authorities on the several subjects ; and a critical statement of existing 
knowledge " on these subjects, etc. 

It is thought that the bias of each narrator will be corrected by the 
critical anatysis of the essay. Each statement, too, of fact or opinion, 
must pass under the scrutiny of the Editor, who submits debateable 
questions to an advisory committee. In this way, it is believed, error 

i8o American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

will be reduced to a minimum and truth will be approached as closely 
as possible. 

We have described the plan adopted and the expectations and claims 
which the projectors of the work have based upon it at such length, be- 
cause of the extent and importance pf the field of knowledge which it is 
proposed the work shall include, and also because it is the first attempt, 
we believe, by means of the proposed method to get up a comprehen- 
sive, complete, and reliable history of the American Continent. The 
method is claimed to be entirely new. We are not prepared to concede 
this, without qualification. It may be new as regards the extent and 
comprehensiveness of the conception, but it is not new with respect to 
the idea of compiling history by the combined labors of historical 
writers, each working upon a special subject. But this, after all, is of 
small importance compared with the success itself of the plan. 

With regard to this we would be more than doubtful from a consid- 
eration of the plan itself. Mere induction, even in the physical sciences, 
is incomplete and leads to no real conclusions unless it is joined with 
and supplemented by deduction. So, too, it is, and in a higher degree, 
in the domain of history. Synthesis must necessarily supplement ana- 
lysis, in every true rational process. The inductive or analytic method 
rigidly adhered to in historical investigations will give us facts, but not 
their true relation or moral significance. It will enable the investigator 
to compile a chronicle but not a history. 

There is a serious danger, too, that the person who undertakes to 
rigidly adhere to the inductive method alone — contemning and abne- 
gating that of deduction — will unconsciously and without proper care as 
to his logical processes employ that of deduction, and substitute unproved 
hypotheses for true conclusions. To this danger persons who essay this 
one-sided method of ratiocination almost invariably succumb, without 
themselves being aware of it. For the man who imagines that he can 
employ solely the inductive method in his investigations of any subject, 
is most liable to be influenced by preconceived notions. This is the 
proton pseudos, the primary, fundamental fallacy of many of the so-called 
scientists of our day. The reason of it is plain. No one can think 
correctly or reach true conclusions who does not observe and follow out 
the law of all right-thinking. And to think rightly and truly requires 
not only analysis but synthesis, not only induction but also deduction. 

These conclusions are verified in volumes II., III. and IV. of the work 
before us, the only volumes that have yet been published. The writers 
on the special subjects which each one has treated, and ably treated, 
give in most instances brief chronicles, and in other, but fewer, instances, 
essays, rather than histories. Giving them, too, as we do, full credit for 
honesty of intention and a resolute purpose to be impartial, we can yet 
plainly perceive in their manner of treating their special subjects, marks 
of personal bias, growing out of preconceived opinions, or prejudices 
resulting from the schools of thought of which they are respectively 

We make these remarks not at all for the purpose of detracting from 
the actual and great value of the work — for to historical students it is 
of very great value — but in order to guard our readers from disappoint- 
ment through their indulging in expectations which are based upon erro- 
neous conceptions; and also in order to point out in what the true and 
really great value of the work consists. 

That value, in our judgment, is not so much in the narrative part of 
the different chapters— for in that part of very many of them we frankly 
confess we have been disappointed — but in the ''critical'' part of each 

Book Notices, i3j 

chapter and its accompanying notes, etc. , giving the sources of informa- 
tion, and historical authorities; illustrated as they are profusely, with cuts 
and fac-similes of ancient monuments, documents, archaeological remains, 
etc., etc. For this reason the work is of exceeding value to searchers 
into the original sources of American history. To these it will be an 
almost indispensable aid. 

That our readers may be acquainted with the fulness and compehen- 
siveness of the intended scope of the work, we give, as fully as the limits 
of our space will permit, its plan in detail. The first volume will con- 
tain papers on ''America before Columbus," with bibliographical and 
descriptive essays on historical sources and authorities. The publica- 
tion of this volume, very prudently and properly, is postponed until all 
the other volumes shall have been published in order that full advantage 
may be taken of investigations now progressing in the field of American 

Volumes II., III. and IV., which have been published and are now 
before us, treat respectively of " Spanish Discoveries and Conquests in 
America," with '* Bibliographical and Descriptive Essays on Historical 
Sources and Authorities ; on English Discoveries and Settlements in 
America," with like " Bibliographical and Descriptive Essays;" and on 
"The French Discoveries and Settlements in America," and those also 
of the Dutch and the Swedes,, and with like "Bibliographical and 
Descriptive Essays." 

Volumes VI., VII. and VIII. are yet to be published, at intervals of 
six months. Their respective subjects will be : " The French and English 
in North America, from the English Revolution to the Peace of Paris, 
1689-1763. "The American Revolution, 1 763-1 783." " The United 
States, 1 783-1850," ** Canada, and the American Outgrowths of Con- 
tinental Europe, Dependent and Independent, in the Eighteenth and 
Nineteenth Centuries." 

Each chapter in each of these volumes will have, in addition to its 
narrative part, "Bibliographical, Descriptive, and Critical Essays on the 
Historical Sources and Authorities." 

It is probably too late to change the scope and plan of these latter 
four volumes. But if not, we would suggest that the work close for the 
present with the end of the eighteenth century, instead of continuing 
down to 1850. This latter date is too near our own day, and too closely 
connected with it, to permit of a comprehensive and impartial survey 
and exhibition of the subject. However, even though the narrative of 
this period should be unduly tinged with the coloring of our own times, 
the collection and arrangement of historical sources and authorities 
which the volumes dealing with the first part of this century will contain, 
will make them valuable to students of history. 

To return to the volumes before us : The seventh chapter in volume 
III. seems to us entirely out of place in a work of this kind. It is not 
historical, except in a most distant and remote way. Under the form of 
a disquisition on "The Religious Element in the Settlement of New 
England," and " The Puritans and Separatists in New England," it is 
an elaborate sectarian apology for them. On the same grounds on which 
this paper has been introduced into the work, we might reasonably ex- 
pect to find, but do not find, separate disquisitions on the tenets of the 
Friends as a religious element in the settlement of Pennsylvania, or the 
tenets of the Baptists as a religious element in the settlement of Rhode 
Island, and on those of Catholics in the settlement of Maryland. 

Still more incongruous with the calm judicial spirit which should 
characterize a work such as this aims to be, is the so-called Historical 

1 82 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Narrative on ''Las Casas, and the Relations of the Spaniards to the 
Indians," by Rev. George Edward Ellis, D.D., LL.D., President of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society, and one of the advisory committee to the 
editor. It is not, in any proper sense, either historical or narrative. It is a 
sensational, highly-colored sketch of the gentleness and amiability of the 
Indians, and their cruel treatment by Spanish adventurers, contrasted 
with the humane labors of Las Casas. It is full of rhetorical exaggera- 
tions, and of evidences of the personal bias and odium theologiciwi of the 
writer. Lest this judgment be thought too sweeping, we give a few 
specimens (from many more that might be quoted) of the writer's state- 
ments and language. Nor are they selected for a purpose, but taken as 
they meet the eye in turning over the pages. The early Spanish settlers 
are characterized — not individually, but as a class and without distinc- 
tion — as "murderers, rapacious, cruel, and inhuman ;" as having *' in- 
flicted upon hundreds of thousands of the natives all the forms and 
agonies of fiendish cruelty." This, too, is explained '' by referring to 
the training of the Spanish nature in inhumanity, cruelty, contempt of 
human life, and obduracy of feeling, through many centuries of ruthless 
warfare," which '' had made every Spaniard a fighter, and every infidel 
an enemy exempted from all tolerance and mercy. Treachery, defiance 
of pledges and treaties, had educated the champions of the Cross and 
Faith in what were to them but the accomplishments of the soldier and 
the fidelity of the believer." " The Holy Office of the Inquisition, with 
all its cavernous secrets and fiendish processes, dates also from the same 
period, and gave its fearful consecration to all the most direful passions." 
" With training in inhumanity and cruelty, the Spanish adventurers," 
etc., "thousands of the natives" were *' crowded together, naked and 
helpless, for slaughter, like sheep in a park or meadow." They were 
"wasted at the extremities by torturing fires, till, after hours of agony, 
they turned their dying gaze, rather in amazed dread than in rage, upon 
their tormentors," etc. 

All this, too, contrasts strikingly and broadly with the manner in 
which, in other papers, the needlessly cruel conduct of the early settlers 
of Massachusetts and Connecticut, towards the Indians of those regions, 
is lightly touched upon or left unmentioned, and also with the omission 
to describe the piratical outrages of English adventurers upon Spanish 

There are other "narratives" in the volume before us which we think 
are open to like objections of personal or sectarian bias, but in a less 
degree than those we have mentioned. Nor can we abstain from ex- 
pressing our regret for the partial and one-sided view that is taken of 
the character and conduct of Columbus in the "narrative" of his life 
and discoveries. So, too, we cannot but think that the insinuation that 
Catholics hold that "no faith is to be kept with heretics;" the charac- 
terizing " the Jesuits " as " diplomatic and insidious ;" the styling of 
the Catholic religion " popery," and other like expressions, are entirely 
out of place in a work of such high pretensions. They naturally create 
a strong presumption against the impartiality and reliability of the 
writers who employ them. They certainly are grave defects, and seri- 
ously detract from the value of many of the narratives. It is to be hoped 
that they will be carefully guarded against in the volumes that are still 
to be published. 

Yet, notwithstanding these defects, and referring more particularly to 
the bibliographical and critical papers, with their copious notes and 
illustrations (which we think are by far the most important), we regard 
the work, taking it as a whole, as the most systematic and painstaking at- 

Book Notices, jg- 

tempt that has yet been made to compile and publish a comprehensive 
history of the Western Continent. The bibliographical and critical es- 
says, and their numerous references to historical authorities and docu- 
ments, and other original sources of information, will furnish invaluable 
assistance to those who wish to thoroughly study American history. 

The American Commonwealth. By Javies Bryce. 2 volumes London and 
New York : McMillan & Co. 1888. 

'' The longer any one studies a vast subject, the more cautious in in- 
ference does he become." This sentence, taken from the midst of the 
introductory chapter of the work before us, is the terse expression of a 
principle which it would be well for all writers to bear in mind and to 
adopt for their own guidance ; then the reading world might be sup- 
plied with fewer ready-made judgments that are, for the most part, 
erroneous. Our author professes to have followed it in writing his 
latest work. " I have striven," he says, "to avoid the temptations of 
the deductive method, and to present simply the facts of the case, ar- 
ranging and connecting them as best I can, but letting them speak for 
themselves rather than pressing upon the reader my own conclusions." 
And because Americans, writing of the history and institutions of the 
United States, have almost . invariably ignored this principle, the best 
works on our country, its political, industrial and social institutions, 
have been written by foreigners. Even Bancroft impairs the usefulness 
of his great work by his evident purpose, implied on almost every page, 
of stating facts only for the sake of making them support the false theory 
that liberty is an essential outgrowth of Protestantism. No doubt, the 
vast majority of books about us, written by Europeans, especially the 
French and English, are worthless, worse than useless ; but yet De 
Tocqueville wrote the first really valuable appreciation of us, and his 
Democracy in America still remains a standard work, though composed 
according to a preconceived notion of what, in the writer's judgment, 
we ought to be, rather than of what our ancestors actually were in his 
day. At least two other European writers have judged us according to 
justice, Herr von Hoist in Germany, and M. Claudio Jannet in France, 
the latter being one of the glories of Catholic literature, who is far from 
being as well known in this country as he ought to be. 

If for no other reason than that implied in the two sentences we have 
quoted, Mr. Bryce's book is superior to De Tocqueville's, though it is, 
by no means, free from errors of statement, enough of which to fill a 
page or two we could cull after but a cursory examination. In treating, 
for instance, of our Presidential election, he says that, on account of the 
obscurity of the candidates for electors, the name of a party's candidate 
for the Presidency is printed at the head of the ballots, while the fact is 
that such intimation to voters is really an exception to the rule. But, 
far more serious, in our view, are his references to Catholics and to 
religious liberty in the colonies and the States. At the time of the Revo- 
lution, he says (vol. i. p. 21), all the inhabitants of the revolted colo- 
nies or new States, "■ except some Roman Catholics in Maryland, pro- 
fessed the Protestant religion." What, then, of the thousands of Catho- 
lics at that time living in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey ? 
And what warranty has he for asserting (vol. ii. p. 567) that 'the creed 
of Roman Catholic Bishops ''justifies the enforcement of the true faith 
by the secular arm ? " This statement is the more astonishing, as Mr. 
Bryce is usually fair in his treatment of Catholics, with whose disabilities 
in the State of New Hampshire, however, he has not made himself, by 

1 84 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

any means, so well acquainted as with most of the other subjects of 
which he treats in these two volumes. 

But, in general, he carries out admirably the plan which he drew up 
for himself, when undertaking to write this book, the presenting of a 
general view of the United States, both as a government and as a nation. 
And his treatment is comprehensive, but not, of course, exhaustive. 
The latter course would lead the writer '' to descant as fully upon mat- 
ters he knows imperfectly, as upon those with which his own tastes and 
knowledge qualify him to deal." Accordingly, while passing lightly 
over some things, he endeavors ** to omit nothing which seems necessary 
to make the political life and the national character and tendencies of 
the Americans intelligible to Europeans " ; and, with this view he touches 
'*upon some topics only distantly connected with government or poli- 
tics." He spent nearly twenty years in studying his subject, and during 
that period he visited this country three times, and of these visits he 
tells us himself: '' When I first visited America eighteen years ago, I 
brought home a swarm of bold generalizations. Half of them were 
thrown overboard in 1881. Of the half that remained, some were 
dropped into the Atlantic when I returned across it, after a third visit in 
1883-84; and, although the two later journeys gave birth to some new 
views, these views are fewer and more discreetly cautious than their de- 
parted sisters of 1870. I can honestly say," he adds, contrasting his 
own with De Tocqueville's plan, '' that I shall be far better pleased, if 
readers of a philosophic turn find in the book matter on which they feel 
they can safely build theories for themselves, than if they take from it 
theories ready made." 

In these two volumes, of nearly seven hundred pages each, there is 
ample food for years of reflection. They are almost entirely devoted 
to a description of the facts of to-day. Mr. Bryce takes pains to tell us 
that, in carrying out his plan, he has had to resist the temptation of 
straying off into history ; but he has written history nevertheless, for 
Freeman's dictum is strictly true, that politics is present history, history 
in the ordinary sense being past politics. Our author makes one brief 
historical diversion, but it is only because he found it necessary to do 
so in order to clear the way for a proper understanding of our political 
' system, of which he has evidently made a thorough study. But even 
without history he naturally found his subject a vast and complex one ; 
yet he has managed to arrange its component parts according to a plan 
which is not only logical in its order, but makes the reading of the book 
entertaining as well as useful. 

''There are three main things," he says, '• that one wishes to know 
about anational commonwealth, namely, its framework and constitutional 
machinery, the methods by which it is worked, the forces which move 
it and direct its course. It- is natural to begin with the first of these. 
Accordingly, I begin with the government." And in the first of the 
six parts into which he divides his work, he describes the national gov- 
ernment in all its branches, executive, legislative and judiciary; in the 
second, the State governments in the same manner ; in the third, our 
system of political parties, and in the fourth the bearing of public opin- 
ion upon the system ; while in the fifth part he gives illustrations and 
makes reflections, and in the sixth deals with our social institutions, in- 
cluding therein the strength and influence of religion in the United 
States. This we consider the least thorough and least satisfactory part 
of the work. Necessarily, some repetition was involved in the faithful 
carrying out of this plan ; but a little repetition was better than the 
leaving of some topics in comparative obscurity. The evils of our sys- 

Book Notices, jg- 

tem, especially in municipal government, are pointed out in a good, not 
a carping, spirit, which should inspire our legislators with a keen sense 
of the necessity of correcting abuses that not only tend to the blunting 
of public and civic virtue at home, but also to the depreciating among 
foreigners of our entire system. Especially are the corruptions of New 
York and Philadelphia politics dwelt upon for this purpose. Valuable 
documents, illustrative of the more important chapters, are given in 
copious appendices to both volumes. 

Mr. Bryce assures us that he has found it so easy to be non-partisan 
in his treatment of our country that, after reading his pages, we find it 
difficult to conceive how most foreign books about us are imbued through- 
out with the spirit of prejudice. He says that, in the first place, he 
wrote down what struck him as the dominant facts, and then tested, by 
consulting American friends and studying American books, the view 
which he had reached. He also claims to have discovered the cause 
why such a book as his has not been written by an American, who might 
naturally be supposed to have great advantages over a stranger. But, 
after mature reflection, the conclusion is naturally reached that " there 
are two ^Ivantages which a stranger, or at least a stranger who is also an 
Englishman, with some practical knowledge of English politics and 
English law, may hope to secure." What these advantages are, we will 
leave to Mr. Bryce himself to state, submitting his description as a fair 
sample of his literary style. Such a writer 'Ms struck by some things 
which a native does not think of explaining, because they are too obvi- 
ous, and whose influence on politics or society he forgets to estimate, 
since they seem to him part of the order of nature. And the stranger 
finds it easier to maintain a position of detachment, detachment not 
only from party prejudice, but from those prepossessions in favor of per- 
sons, groups, constitutional dogmas, national pretensions, which a citi- 
zen can scarcely escape except by falling into the attitude of impartial 
cynicism which sours and perverts the historical mind as much as preju- 
dice itself." 

Following these lines, Mr. Bryce has produced a book which leaves 
both Americans and English-speaking foreigners without an excuse for 
hereafter remaining in ignorance of our institutians and mode of life. 
How he has accomplished his task he himself describes in this pen-picture : 
'' He who regards a wide landscape from a distant height, sees its de- 
tails imperfectly, and must unfold his map in order to make out where each 
village lies, and how the roads run from point to point. But he catches 
the true perspective of things better than if he were standing among 
them. The great features of the landscape, the valleys, slopes and moun- 
tains, appear in their relative proportion ; he can estimate the height of 
the peaks and the breadth of the plains." 

The True Spouse of Jesus Christ. With an Appendix and various Small Works 
and Spiritual Letters. By St. Alphofisus de Liguori, Doctor of the Church. In 
two volumes, forming part of the Centennary Edition of the Complete Works of 
St. Alphonsus. Edited by Rev. Eugene Grimm, Priest of the Congregation of 
the Most Holy Redeemer. New York, Cincinnati, and Chicago : Benziger Bros., 
Printers to the Apostolic See. 

The good that men do, the poet has said, is not interred with their 
bones. Fortunately for the world, the law is universal. It were, indeed, 
sad for the world if such had not been the case, and if the works of great 
and good men did not live after them to remind and teach us " how to 
make our lives sublime." Pre-eminently sad would it have been, and 
greatly to be deplored, if the works of St. Alphonsus de Liguori, the 

1 86 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

crystallization of his wisdom and piety, had not been handed down to us. 
They may not, indeed, have made sublime the lives of all who have read 
them, but they have undoubtedly influenced them for good, and tended 
to draw them nearer to God, and thus have made men better and holier. 
Whether it be in the domain of theology or of asceticism that we con- 
sider the Saint, great is the good he has done, and is doing to the be- 
lievino- world. Few are the Church's illustrious sons, revered worthily 
and beloved though they be, whose memory is so cherished and rever- 
enced as is that of St. Alphonsus. Many are the theological wo-ks that 
have been written since his day, yet to the great treatise on Moral The- 
ology which bears his name we turn with a pleasure and profit that others 
with all their merits fail to give us. It is like going to the fountain- 
head, where the waters are coolest and clearest, instead of drinking of 
them' after they have flowed along their channels for many a league, and 
lost their freshness and limpid purity. And, as with his great work on 
Moral Theology, so with his ascetical writings. Though old, they seem 
ever new, ever fresh and vigorous, ever instructive. Like the Church 
herself, whose spirit they breathe, they shine forth clearer and stronger 
with the advancing years. \ 

In a special way these words are applicable to the work before us, 
"The True Spouse of Jesus Christ." It is some years now since this 
work was first given to the public in an English translation. From the 
beginning, its high worth was appreciated. It was doubly precious. It 
was precious for its own intrinsic value, and precious for its timeliness, 
supplying, as it did, a long-felt want in the lives of Religious in this 
country and other English-speaking countries. 

The edition before us constitutes the tenth and eleventh volumes of 
"The Centennary Edition" of the Saint's works. It has been edited 
with great care and conspicuous ability. Though " The True Spouse of 
Jesus Christ " was written expressly for Nuns, it contains also much that 
is profitable and needful, not only for all classes of Religious, but for 
those also who live in the world. No one, in whatever calling in life, 
can read it and fail to profit by it. But to those who, in the Religious 
life, have given themselves to God, the work is particularly addressed. 
It aims at a portrayal of the ti'ue Spouse of Jesus Christ. 

That for such a work St. Alphonsus was eminently and peculiarly 
fitted no one can reasonably deny. He was a Religious, day in and day 
out, specially consecrated to God. He was the founder of a Religious 
Order; a man, moreover, of unusual attainments, and of large experi- 
ence in the guidance of Religious souls. He knew the ideal which the 
Church has set before her Religious. He knew also, from intimate rela- 
tions with that part of Christ's kingdom, the obstacles which stood in 
the way of the attainment of that ideal, as well as the helps that aided 
its realization. 

In the opening chapters of his work, he speaks of the excellence of 
the Religious state and its advantages. He treats this from a two-fold 
point of view; first, showing from Scriptural citations the preciousness 
of virginity in the sight of God, and, secondly, its suitableness and fa- 
vora>bleness to a perfect service of God in this world. This second point 
he brings out most clearly by referring to St. Paul, who, speaking on the 
same subject, says that the unmarried woman and the virgin " thinketh 
that she may be holy both in body and spirit, but she that is married 
thinketh on the things of the world and how she may please her hus- 
band." The Religious state is, in the words of the Saint, as it is in the 
-estimation of all earnest, thoughtful men, the surest way to salvation. 

Book Notices. i37 

Not that the Saint says or thinks that all who enter into that state shall 
be saved— for he admits, and plainly says, that it has its dangers and 
pitfalls— but because of the protection with which it is hedged around 
and the special graces with which God blesses it. 

Having treated of the excellence of the Religious life from this two- 
fold point of view, the Saint gives us his idea of a true Spouse of Christ. 
The espousal of the Religious he holds to be a true and perfect espousalj 
a solemn consecration of one's-self to God, a becoming thereby one 
with Him ; one heart, and mind, and soul, wholly and entirely His. 
The true spouse of Jesus Christ will, therefore, be in heart and will, in 
thought, and word, and deed, in her whole life, a copy of her Master. 
His ways, then, will be her ways; His virtues her virtues. 

Carrying out that thought, St. Alphonsus devotes most of the subse- 
quent part of his work to a consideration of the virtues which so emi- 
nently befit a Religious, and without which she cannot be what she pro- 
fesses and aspires to be — a true spouse of Jesus Christ. There must be, 
he tells us, interior mortification ; there must also be exterior mortifica- 
tion. The true Religious can have no will. For where there is self- 
will there is also self-love, and consequently not an entire giving up of 
self to God. On the humility both of heart and intellect, which Re- 
ligious must possess; on the fraternal charity which must ever guide 
them in their dealings with mankind ; on the patience that must possess 
their souls ; of the great necessity of mental prayer — needful to a Re- 
ligious as air is to life — St. Alphonsus dwells with great clearness and 

There are some who think the Saint has gone too far into details, and 
that it would have been better had he not treated upon some matters to 
which he has drawn attention. But this is a grave mistake. Men are 
not angels ; and sensible mortals do not look for perfection in this life. 
If, in the past. Religious have not been all that they ought to have been, 
it is for us to learn from their shortcomings that our duty is higher. This 
work of St. Alphonsus is estimated at its true value by those to whom it 
is especially addressed — the Religious in our convents — and, if there be 
one thing more than another for which it is prized, it is because the 
Saint lays his finger upon their weaknesses, and, having done so, points 
out to them the way to overcome such obstacles to the attainment of 
God's perfect love. Not the least valuable part of the work is the ap- 
pendix, covering more than three hundred pages of the second volume. 
For the most part it contains Exhortations addressed to the nuns of Re- 
ligious communities, and Spiritual Letters written to Religious and per- 
sons called to a Religious state. They are full of sweetness and wisdom, 
and we are sure will be fully appreciated by all who are in earnest in 
the work of saving their souls, and especially by those who have conse- 
crated themselves to God, and are desirous of being His loyal, loving, and 
true spouses. 

Readers should ever bear in mind that the author is a Saint, and there- 
fore his words and counsels are deserving of far more than common in- 
terest. To what extent God inspired the Saint in writing this work, is 
not given us to know, but we feel we are not going beyond the truth 
when we say that it must have been the fruit of many prayers, and of 
much communion with God. The work, therefore, should .be in the 
hands of all who seek perfection, who love God, and wish to dwell with 
Him hereafter. It will draw them nearer to God, teach them to walk in 
His perfect ways ; it will be to them a lamp in the darkness, and a staft 
in their weakness. 

1 88 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 


Tomus I. Edidit S. Hurter, S. /., S. Theolog. et Philos. Doctor, Ejusdem 
S. Theolog. in C. R. Universitate CEnipontana Professore P. O. Cum Appn^ba- 
tione Celsissimi et Reverendissimi Episcopi Brixinensis et Facilitate Superiorum. 
Editio Sexta Aucta et Emendata. CEniponte Libraria Academica Wagneriana. 

That the excellence of Father Hurler's work has been appreciated we 
have undoubted proof in the fact that the volume before us is the first 
of a new and sixth edition. The Rev. Father tells us, and from a perusal 
of the volume it becomes quite evident, that he has taken advantage of 
the present edition to enlarge and correct his work. 

We have not here the space to attempt a broad and thorough criticism 
of this admirable book. We do not claim for it the highest excellence. 
There are works on the same subject which we prefer. Still it must be 
admitted that Father Hurter's book holds a highly respectable position 
among works of that kind. His treatment of the great question of 
Divine Revelation is especially worthy of commendation. It is quite 
thorough and searching in its clear and exact examination and elucida- 
tion of the subject. Nor does Father Hurter fail to give satisfaction in 
that part of his book which is devoted to the exposition of the nature 
and foundation and claims of the Church. Here his work is strong. 

Whilst the plan and general treatment of this part of his book are 
open to criticism and have undoubtedly evoked honest objection, and, 
to our mind, are inferior to the work of Mazella on the same subject, 
we must however bear testimony that the Rev. author has performed his 
task with far more than ordinary success. Upon the question of the 
Church's prerogatives, as well as of those which pertain to her Visible 
Head, he is clear and sound. The great truth of the infallibility of the 
Sovereign Pontiff of the Church he treats ably and learnedly. Of 
course upon this truth he throws no new light. The arguments he 
adduces are familiar to all students of theology. But in this there can 
be no reasonable ground for disappointment. In the treatment of this 
great and important subject by theologians of our day, what we look 
for is clearness of exposition and soundness of argument, and both of 
these we have in Father Hurter's treatise. 

Incidentally in the treatment of the subject the Rev. author speaks of 
the timeliness of the Church's definition of the dogma. This has been 
from the beginning a vexed question. Great and good men have been 
on the one side, and great and good men on the other. Our author 
takes the ground that the time had come for the Church to speak out 
clearly and authoritatively on the subject. Whether the great minds of 
our age agree with him in this view of the question, matters not. At 
most it is now a mere problem or theory. For the Church's solemn 
declaration has practically ended the question. Our duty is plain. 

The fourth and concluding part of the work before us the Rev. author 
devotes to the subject of faith. He treats it from a threefold aspect : 
First, from that of man believing ; second, the relation between faith and 
knowledge; and third, the rule of faith in the concrete. To the ex- 
position of these three our author devotes many pages. ■ There is no 
denying that the subject of faith is a subtle one and demands of him 
who essays to enter deeply into it unusual ability. We feel sure that 
Father Hurter has performed his difficult task in a way that must be 
eminently satisfactory to students of theology. He is always clear, 
always safe. In doubtful issues he is always on the side of the great 
Doctors of the Church. 

We can, therefore, safely commend Father Hurter's work. As a 

Book Notices, 


text-book it may not be all we could desire, but the student of theology 
will ever find it a safe and trustworthy guide. 

Sometimes we hear it said, and by those, too, who know whereof they 
speak, that devotion and practical morality are losing ground and are 
not near what they ought to be. May not this sad fact be attributable 
to the scant knowledge men have of God and their faith? Dogma is 
undoubtedly the source of devotion, and knowledge is love. What I 
do not know, I cannot love. Not knowing God as they should and 
having scarcely a faint notion, even, of the beauties of their faith, we 
cannot expect men to be other than they are. What they want is more 
dogma, more knowledge of God, a clearer insight into the beauties of 
their faith. With such works as Father Hurter's at command, our cler- 
gymen will be better equipped, and consequently better able to instruct 
our people. Hence the great good and high value of sound and trust- 
worthy works on Dogmatic Theology. 

God Knowable and Known. By Rev. Maurice Ronayne, S. /., Author of " Reli- 
gion and Science." New York, Cincinnati, Chicago: Benziger Bros. 1888. 

The purpose of this book is to furnish, to persons willing to think, 
arguments that bear on the existence and knowableness of God. The 
author frankly and modestly disclaims having either invented or dis- 
covered the arguments he presents. He says, and truly, that in their 
general outlines they have been before the human mind during all 
ages. But those arguments are just as available at present, in the warfare 
with infidelity, as in any period of the past, and they need only, as it 
were, to be refurbished anew, that they may be perfectly well fitted for 
modern use. To give the reasoning greater point and to answer various 
objections, the author has cast a great part of the arguments into the 
form of discussions. The places, times, and persons in these discussions 
have been feigned in order to give more vivid and practical reality to 
the arguments. The work is opportune as dealing with questions which, 
especially at this time, are earnestly debated. Its method, too, and 
arrangement of topics are highly judicious. The arguments are pre- 
sented in a form that is free from all needless technicality, and the 
language in which they are expressed is as simple as the nature of the 
questions discussed will permit. 

In pursuance of his plan the author very properly commences with 
showing that all nature witnesses to God. He shows from the very 
nature of matter itself— the fact that it is finite and contingent — that it 
requires, to account for its existence, the existence of an independent, 
absolute, self-existing, first cause. He then answers the various objec- 
tions of those who assert that matter is uncreated, and proves that their 
different objections, almost without exception, involve the logical error 
of first assuming as undeniable the very point they are required to prove 
and then building upon it as though it had been conceded. He passes 
in review the ideas on this subject of Darwin, Herbert Spencer, Huxley, 
Mill, Hamilton, Locke and Hume, tracing them back to ancient Greek 
and Roman soi)hists and exposing their fallacies. 

The second chapter treats the very important subject, ''The Data of 
Natural Knowledge." The third, fourth, and fifth chapters, respec- 
tively, have to do with ''God our Creator," "The Vestiges of God m 
Creation," and "The Human Race bears Testimony to God." The fifth 
chapter, extending over fifty pages, is occupied with the subject of 
Buddhism, its history, leading ideas, and errors. We regard this chap- 
ter as one of the most timely, as well as one of the most satisfactory, m 
the whole work. Buddhism is a pretentious and subtle system, and some 

IQO American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

of its most pernicious errors find congenial soil in the materialism and 
pessimism of our age. 

The next six chapters are occupied respectively with the following 
subjects: "God in the Moral World," "The Nature of the Human 
Soul— Its Immortality," "Conscience as a Witness to God," "The 
Proofs of Conscience Confirmed," " The Knowledge of God Attainable 
by all Men," "St. Augustine's Soliloquy with God." 

The work concludes with a valuable *' Appendix," containing a refu- 
tation of Darwinism ; an exposure of errors and fallacies in the article 
on "Theism" in the "Encyclopaedia Britannica;" an account of the 
" Sacred Books of the East, and a Brief Treatise on the different Names 
of God." 

The work, as we have said, is a timely one, and of permanent value. 
It will be especially of practical use to persons who are frequently 
brought into contact with infidels and skeptics ; for it will furnish them 
with weapons ready for use to expose their errors and demolish their 
sophistical fallacies. 

Miscellanies. By Henry Edward, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. Vol. III. 
London: Burns & Gates. New York : Catholic Publication Society Co. 1888. 

This volume is truly multu?n in parvo. Cardinal Manning is well 
known to be a concise as well as a lucid writer, well able to place his 
subject in strong light before his readers, without circumlocution and 
with few words. It would be difficult to find, among all our current litera- 
ture, a book more replete with important historical facts and pregnant 
thoughts logically arranged and clearly set forth, than is the volume be- 
fore us. The subjects, too, which it treats are subjects which, without 
exception, are vitally connected with burning questions of our own 
times, or have a direct bearing upon them. 

All the papers, too, which the volume comprises, are taken from the 
writings of Cardinal Manning during the last few years, the earliest 
of them dating back only to 1880. They may be taken, therefore, as 
embodying the ripest experience and reflection, of one who has closely 
studied men and things, and living facts as well as books, for upwards 
of fifty years of adult manhood, and who has been himself magna pars 
of many important movements of his times. 

Some of the papers treat subjects of universal importance ; others 
discuss questions which, at first thought, judging them merely by their 
title, apply only to the social, political, or religious condition of Eng- 
land. But the subjects of this last-mentioned character are examined 
and treated in such broad and comprehensive manner, and on the basis 
of principles which are of such universal application, that they will be 
read, not only with interest, but with great profit, by citizens of all 

A number of these papers discuss profoundly (not profoundly in the 
sense of resorting to technical methods, but profoundly as going to the 
central root of the matter), and practically, the burning subject of edu- 
cation. They treat it from different sides, and set forth, with axiomatic 
clearness and force, the ideas and principles which ought to rule and 
govern this whole important subject in its bearings upon the rights and 
duties of children, the rights and duties of parents, the relations of chil- 
dren and of parents to society and civil government and to the Church, 
and the rights, duties, authority, and power of the State, on the one hand, 
and of the Church, on the other, to children and to parents, as regards 

Another class of papers in the volume sets forth, under various titles, 
such as "Atheism and the Constitution of England," "Without God, 

Book Notices, igi 

No Commonwealth," "Parliamentary Oaths," etc., and with reference 
to different practical applications of the same general truth, the relation 
of religion to human society and civil government. Others of these 
papers deal with important practical social subjects, such as '<Our Na- 
tional Vice" (a lucid and powerful exposition of the evils of intem- 
perance) ; *' Pleading for the Worthless" ''Out-door Relief," ''The 
Law of Nature, Divine and Supreme" (an article published in the 
American Catholic Quarterly Review on the right of the starving to 
bread), etc. Still other papers are on subjects of a more strictly eccle- 
siastical character, discussed broadly and in their general relations to 
human society, such as "The Salvation Army," "The Catholic Church 
and Modern Society," "The Soul Before and After Death," "The 
Church its Own Witness," etc. 

It is scarcely necessary for us to add, after this statement of the con- 
tents of the volume, that it will not only interest and instruct intelligent 
readers, but will also serve as a valuable hand-book to speakers who wish 
to quickly furnish themselves with facts and thoughts upon the many 
important subjects which it treats. 

The Life of St. Ignatius of Loyola. By Father Genelli, of the Society of Jesus. 
Translated from the German by M. Charles Sainte Foi, and rendered from the 
French by the Rev. Thomas Meyrick, S. J. New York, Cincinnati and Chicago : 
Benziger Brothers. 1889. 

It is indeed by a roundabout way that this book has reached us. But 
perhaps it has gained rather than lost merit in its circuitous course, for 
it is made to appear in very good English and a simple style that is far 
more easily adopted from the French than the German. But the strictest 
fidelity to originals, even of idiom, is observed in one particular — Father 
Genelli, M. Sainte Foi and Father Meyrick, in quoting the writings of 
St. Ignatius, adhere, as much as possible, not only to the sense, but as 
well to the construction and the mannerism of the phrase. M. Sainte 
Foi thus gives the reason for this course : "I have chosen to sacrifice 
the beauty of a free translation to the preservation of the original, so 
that the reader in perusing it may recognize, not only the meaning of 

the author, but his very spirit and way of expressing it I have 

done it not only out of respect for the great Saint whose life I here 
give, but for the love of truth and for the advantage of those readers 
who like to find in the words of great men, and of Saints especially, 
the peculiar stamp which distinguishes their character." 

There were so many lives of the founder of the Society of Jesus 
already in the hands of the public that it may well be asked why this 
one has been added to the list, and that too at a time when he and his 
Society are in great disfavor in many countries. But Father Genelli 
had more than one very praiseworthy object in view. He had "a 
taste for that method of historical pursuit which by close observation of 
facts throw clearer light upon the character of times and persons." 
He had " observed that the lives of St. Ignatius hitherto published have 
kept rather to the surface of things, without endeavoring to trace out 
their connection or to dive into the motives which actuated this^ great 
man, or into the world of thought which was awakened in his soul." He 
had wanted to refute " the unfounded supposition made by. those who 
pretend that the Society of Jesus is not what it was when St. Ignatius 
founded it." For these and other reasons he undertook to write this 
new life, in which he lets the Saint paint his own character by means of 
his letters and other writings. Father Genelli has fully availed himself 
of the recent progress made in historical research, and has produced a 
work that throws much light, not only on the subject of the biography, 

1^2 Antencaii Catholic Quarterly Review, 

but also on the age in which he lived. This book deserves to take the 
place of a standard biography. 

Catholic Worship. The Sacraments, Ceremonies and Festivals of the Church 

explained in Questions and Answers. By Rev. O. Gisler. Translated from the 

German by Rev. Richard Brennan, LL D. New York, Cincinnati and Chicago : 

Benziger Brothers. 

Besides the answers to the questions there are added almost on every 

page supplementary explanations that throw much additional light on 

the subjects discussed. Throughout the whole book the language is 

clear and simple. Everything about it goes to make this little volume 

eminently useful as a book of religious instruction in general, but more 

especially in the Sunday School, where every teacher should use it. 

American Ecclesiastical Review (Monthly). No. i, January, 1889. New York 
and Cincinnati : Fr. Pustet & Co. 

This is a periodical intended to discuss subjects relating to Theology, 
Canon law, and church discipline. It is edited by Reverend H. J. 
Heuser, of Philadelphia. Father Heuser is a Professor in the Theo- 
logical Seminary of St. Charles Borromeo, and is well qualified for the 
important position to which he has been called. 


The Life of Blessed Martin. De Porres (a negro Saint), of the Third Order of 
St. Dominic, in the Province of St. John Baptist, of Peru. Translated from the 
\i-d\\zxi\)y Lady Herbert. New York : The Catholic Publication Society Co. 1889. 

Sermons at Mass. By the Rev. Patrick O' Keafe, C. C, author of " Moral Dis- 
courses." Dublin : M. H. Gill & Son. 1888. 

Selections from the Sermons of Padre Agostino Da Montefaltro. Edited 
by Catharine Mary Phillimore. London : The Church Printing Company. 

From the World to the Cloister ; or, My Narrative. By Bernard. London : 
Kegan Paul, Trench & Co. 1888. 

Lourdes, its Inhabitants, its Pilgrims, and its Miracles. With an Account 
of the Apparitions at the Grotto, and a Sketch of Bernadette's Subsequent His- 
tory. By Richard Clarke, S. J, New York, Cincinnati, and Chicago : Ben- 
ziger Brothers. 1888. 

Aroer, the Story of a Vocation. New York : The Catholic Publication Society 
Co. London : Burns & Gates. 

Life of Lady Georgiana Fullerton. From the French of Mrs. Augustus Craven. 
By Henry James Coleridge, S.J. London : Richard Bentley & Son. 1888. 

Six Sermons on Devotion to the Sacred Heart. By Rev. E%vald Bierbaum, 
D D. Translated from the German by Miss Ella MacMahon. New York, 
Cincinnati, and Chicago : Benziger Brothers. 1888. 

Records of the English Catholics of 1715. Compiled wholly from Original 
Documents. Edited by John Or lebar Payne, M.A. London: Burns & Gates. 
New York: Catholic Publication Society Co. 1889. 

Characteristics from the Writings of Archbishop Ullathorne, with Bib- 
liographical Introduction. Arranged by the Rev. Michael F. Glancey, late 
of St. Mary's College, Oscott. New York : The Catholic Publication Society 
Co. London: Burns & Gates, limited. 1889. 

Leaves from St. John Chrysostom. Selected and Translated by Mary H Allies. 
Edited,j,with a Preface, by T. W. Allies, K. C. S. G. New York : Catholic Pub- 
lication Society. London: Burns & Gates. 1889. 

Letters to Persons in Religion. With Introduction by Bishop Hedley, and Fac- 
simile of the Saint's Handwriting. New York: The Catholic Publication^ 
Society Co. London : Burns & Gates. 1888. 

e:ducational directory. 

St. Mary's College, 

Marion County, Kentucky, possesses the advan- 
tages of a most healthful country locality, free 
from all distractions; enforces diligence and 
discipline strictly, and is able to give boys excel- 
lent instruction and unusually good board and 
treatment at very reasonable rates. For cata- 
logue write to 

Rev. David Fennessy, C.R., 

St. Mary's, Ky. 

Mt. de Chantal, 

A school for young ladies, near Wheeling, \V. Va. 
Full English, Mathematical and Classical course. 
A fine Library is at the command of the stu- 
dents. Modern Languages, Drawing and Faint- 
ing. Complete graded course in Vocal and 
Instrumental Music. Location unsurpassed for 
beauty and health. Ten acres of pleasure 
grounds. Board excellent. Apply to 

The Directress. 

Mt. St. Joseph Academy, 

Chestnut Hill, Phila. Conducted by the Sisters 
of St. Joseph. This Institution offers exceptional 
facilities for the acquisition of a thorough Eng- 
lish education. 

Special students in Music will find the Course 
and Methods pursued very conducive to rapid 
advancement. Full particulars in catalogue, for 

which apply to 

Mother Superior. 

St. Mary's Academy. 

The Thirty-third Academic Year will open on 
the first Monday in September, 1888. School of 
Art and Design. Conservatory of Music on the 
plan of best conservatories of Europe. Acade- 
mic course is thorough in the Preparatory, Senior 
and Classical grades. Drawing and Painting 
from Life and the Antique, Phonography and 
Type-Writing taught. Apply for catalogue to 

Mother Superior, 

St. Mary's Academy, Notre Dame, St. Joseph Co., 


Preparatory School for Boys 

Fayetteville, Brown County, Ohio. 

For boys between the ages of 3 and 12. Con- 
ducted by the Sisters of Charity. Reopens first 
week in September. Terms very liberal. 

For particulars and terms apply to Cedak 
G'rove Academy, Price Hill, Cincinnati, Ohio ; 
Sisters of Charity, Fayetteville, Brown Co., 
Ohio, or any of the Catholic Clergy of the city. 

Sisters of the Visitation. 

Academy of the Visitation.' Mount de Sales, 
Catonsville, Md. 

This Institution offers every advantage to 
young ladies wishing to receive a solid and 
refined education. Terms moderate. 

St, Joseph's Seminary 

For Colored Missions. There are in the Southern 
States over 6,000,000 Negroes, of whom not 100,000 
are Catholics. The various Protestant sects 
claim but 3,000,000, thus leaving over 3,000,000 
who belong to no church. A double duty, as 
Catholics and Americans, lies upon us. St. 
Joseph's Seminary will help in part to fulfil 
these duties. It needs subjects, who will devote 
themselves to this Apostolic work. It is entirely 
dependent on alms. Address 

Rev. John R. Slattery, Rector, 

St. Joseph's Seminary, Baltimore, Md. 

St. Mary's Academic Insti- 

TUTE (DIOCESE OF viNCENNEs), St. Mary's of the 
Woods, Vigo County, Ind. The pupils of this 
spacious and elegantly finished and furnished 
Institute enjoy, at very low rates, every advant- 
age conducive to pleasure and health, together 
with unrivalled facilities for acquiring thorough and 
accomplished education. The scholastic year 
begins September 1st. For terms and other par- 
ticulars, address 

Sister Superior, 

St. Mary's, Vigo Co., Indiana. 

Georgetown Academy of the 

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin. Delight- 
fully situated on Georgetown Heights, near the 
National Capital. Founded 1799. Address, 

Sisters of the Visit.a.tion, 
Georgetown Academy, West Washington, D. C. 

Academy Mt. St. Vincent- 

on-the-Hudson, New York City. The Institution 
covers sixty-three acres ; a large portion of the 
grounds is thrown open to Llie pupils. 

The course of study is given in the extended 
and illustrated pamphlet or prospectus, sent on 
application. French and German are verj' thor- 
oughly taught. Terms per annum, includmg 
music, 8400; without music, $310. 





Conducted by an association of Secular clergymen, under the auspices of His Grace 
the Ardibishop of Baltimore. 

This well-known institution combines under one government a Junior Department, 
a Preparatory and Commercial School, a College empowered to confer degrees, and a 
Theological Seminary. Situated on elevated ground, at the foot of the Maryland Blue 
Kidge, far removed from all malarial influences and the distractions of cities, it is re- 
nowned for the health, happiness, and studious habits of its pupils. The College build- 
ings, substantially constructed, have recently been thoroughly renovated, lighted with 
gas, and otherwise improved. 

The scholastic year is divided into two sessions, beginning respectively Sept. 1st and 
Feb. 1st. New students will be admitted at any time. 

Board and Tuition, per session of five months, to be paid in advance— Junior Department $125 00 

Do. do. In the Preparatory and Commercial Schools, 135 00 

Do. do. In the College 150 00 

Medical attendHnce, per session 5 00 

In tJie I^cclesiasticMl .Seminary, per session 100 00 

There is no extra charge lor French or German. For Catalogues and turther intorniation, address, 
Rev. P. ALLEN, A.M., President, Mt. St. Mary's College, Emmitsburff M.^. 


FOUNDED 1789. 

For iiiiormation address as follows : 
Georgetown College, D. C, 

Rev. James A. Doonau, S. J., Pres't. 
School of Medicine, 

Dr. J. W. H, l.ovejov, 


Washington, D. C. 
School of Law, 

Sam'I M. Yeatman, Esq., 

Washington, D. C. 


This College enjoys the powers of a University 
and is conducted by the Jesuit Fathers. It is sit- 
uated in a very beautiful part of New York County 
between the Harlem R. and L. I. Sound. Every 
facility is given for the best Classical, Scientific 
and Commercial Education. Board and Tuition 
per year $300. 

St. John's Hall, a Preparatory School for 
Boys from 10 to 12, is under the same direction. 
For further particulars apply to Rev. John 
Scully, S. J., Pres. 


flFti Esfeablisl^KaePife, 

I6O Saratoga Aveniae, 

mmm statues a specialty. 

The only place where Statues for churches and chap- 
els of all descriptions are made in this country, equal in 
beauty of model, decoration and durability of material for 
at least 30 per cent, cheaper than anywhere else. 

Usual sizes from one to six feet. 

Colors warranted to wash. 

Statues made also for outdoor at same prices as the 
indoor would cost. 

Models are made after the finest imported French 
anil German originals. 

Relief Stations, 2 feet 6 inches by 5 feet, Gothic 
frames, richly decorated, at the extremely low price of 
$350 per set. 

Illustrated Catalogue sent Free on application. 

I will also send a Photographic Album of my Stat- 
uary, etc., if called for, and if postage is paid each way, 
as it must be returned. 

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Through Bills of Lading given for Belfast, Glasgow, Havre, Antwerp, and other 
ports on the Continent, and for Mediterranean ports. For Freight and Passage, apply 
at the Company's Office, 4 Bowling Green. 

VERNON H. BROWN & CO., 4 Bowling Green, N. Y. 

Or to JAMES HOGAN, 339 Chestnut Street, Khiladelphia. 


G atholic S tandard. 

Devoted to the Defence of Catholic Principles and the Propagation of Sonnd Catholic Thought. 

I^,„.,. , .,„..,„.„.„ 

^^Kally readable Catholic newspapers in the United States. Its columns are filled every 
^^mireek with a great amount of varied and instructive reading matter on religious, literary, 
^^Band other subjects. 

^^ft Its Editorials are able, fresh, and vigorous on all questions of the times pertaining 
^^^o the interest of the Church, and involving the rights of Catholic citizens. 

It has regular correspondence from Rome, and gives the fullest news from all 
points in Ireland. 

It furnishes the latest reliable Catholic news from all parts of the world, special 
attention being given to the reproduction of discourses by distinguished Catholic 
preachers and orators both in America and in Europe. 

In its Literary Department will be found a great variety of entertaining matter, 
comprising Serial Stories, Sketches of Foreign and American Life, short Tales, Poems, 
interesting reading for the Young Folks, etc., etc. 

SO Per Annum, Payable in Advance. 
Address HARDY & MAHONY, 

Publishers and Proprietors, 
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A merican Catholic Historical Society 


Price, , . $2.00. 


Preface (by the Editor) Page 5 

Introduction (by the Recording Secretary) 7 

Papers Read at Public Meetings : 

Sketch of the Abenaquis Mission (Rev. James J. Brie, S. J.) 
The Early Registers of the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania 

(Philip S. P. Conner) 22 

Rev. Louis Barth (Rev. Jules C. Foin ) ?6 

The Centenary of the Adoption of the Constitution of the 

United States (Rev. Dr. Horstmann's Address) 38 

Our Nation's Glory (Poem by Miss Eleanor C. Donnelly) 42 

Thomas FitzSimons, Pennsylvania's Catholic Signer of the 

Constitution (Martin I. J. Grififin) 45 

Catholic Choirs and Choir Music in Philadelphia (Michael 

H. Cross) 115 

Catholicity in South-Eastern (Lee County) Iowa (Rev. John 

F. Kempker) 128 

Sketches of Catholicity in Texas (Very Rev. C. Jaillet, V.G.) 143 

Father Louis della Vagna (H. F. Mcintosh) 154 

The Origin of the Flathead Mission (Major Edmond Mallet, 

LL. B) ' 164 

History of the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succor, Bos- 
ton (Rev. Charles W. Currier, C. SS. R) 206 

List of Baptisms of St. Joseph's Church, Philadelphia, 1 776-1 781... 225 

Father Farmer's Marriage Register, 1 758-1 786 276 

Father Schneider's Goshenhoppen Registers, 1741-1764 316 

Department of Genealogies : 

The Esling Genealogy 333 

The Sehner Family 3^7 

Kelly-Hendry Families 3^^ 


The Library and its Benefactors (F. X. Reuss) 374 

Rules for the Government of the Library 381 

Public Meetings 383 

Alphabetical List of Members of the Society .- 3^^ 

Obituary 3^9 

Aphabetical Index 39 ^ 

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Issued in January, April, July, and October. Each number contains 192 
large octavo pages, printed from legible type, on fine white paper. 

The REVIEW is the only Catholic Quarterly published in the United 
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It employs the highest order of literary talent available in this country and 
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heretofore, by the Catholic public, and more especially by the Reverend 
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T/ie Review stands at the head of Roman Catholic ptiblications in this cotintry.'''' — Alta 

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Does not infringe upon any field now occupied by any Catholic magazine. It simply 

rises above all, and proposes to discuss the nost recondite branches-^theological, polemical, 

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■ faith, but of Protestants also who desire to give a candid consideration to their opponents' 
' arguments in support of their doctrines." — New York Sun. 

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Subscriptions Respectfully Solicited. 


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1 HE American Catholic Quarterly Review is issued regularly iii Ji 
nary, April, July, and October. 

-Each Number contains 192 pages, large octavo, printed from legible 
on fine white paper. 

bscription, $5-oo per annum, payable in advance, or ;^i.25 a single 
jcstage free to all parts of the U. S. 

The Editorial Department is conducted by Rt. Rev. James A. Corcoran, D.l 

It is designed that the American Catholic Quarterly Review shall be of tb 
highest character that can be given it by the educated Catholic mind of ti < 
United States and of Europe. 

It is -NOT proposed that it shall be confined to the discussion of theological « 
subjects, but that it shall embrace within its scope all subjects of interest to edu- 1 
cated Catholics, whether philosophical, historical, scientific, literary, or politic. 

using the latter term in its original and proper meaning, l^artisan politics, c. 

politics in the popular sense of the word, it is scarcely necessary to say, will 
rigidly excluded. 

The most learned and scholarly writers that can be secured will oe tiiiisted 
m support of the Review as regular and occasional contributors; and every effort 
will be' made by its conductors to render it an able and efficient auxiliary to the 
Church in her warfare against modern error. 

Subscriptions respectfully solicited. 

Address. HARDY ^ MAHONT, 


Post-Office Box, 1044 PHILADELPHIA 


Die 3 Januarii, A.D. 1884. 



\ J ' t: ti : i ill IU7J . ! 

January 3, A.I» 1884.' 
We have received wriii gratitude through the Archbishop of Baltimore th| 


TOLic Benediction upon you all. 



APRIL. 1889. ^°'^*' 



ATHOLic Quarterly 


Bonum est homini ut eum Veritas vincat volentem, quia malum est homini ut eum Veritas vincat 

invitum. Nam ipsa vincat necesse est, sive negantem sive confitentem. 

S. Aug. Epist. ccxxxviii. ad Pascent. 



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Librarian of Congress, at Wa-hington, D. C. 


Catholic Standard, 


Devoted to the Defence of Catholic Principles 

And the Propagation of Sound Catholic Thought. 


The Catholic Standakd is one of the largest, most ably conducted, 
and generally readable Catholic family newspapers in the United States. 
Its columns are filled every week with a great amount of varied and in- 
structive reading matter on religious, literary, and other subjects 
general interest suited to the home circle. 

Its Editorials are able, fresh, and vigorous on all questions of the tim^ 
pertaining to the interest of the church, and involving the rights 
Catholic citizens. 

It has a regular weekly correspondent stationed at Rome, and gives tl 
fullest new^s from all points in Ireland. 

It furnishes the latest reliable Catholic news from all parts of tl 
world, special attention being given to the reproduction of discourses 
distinguished Catholic preachers and orators both in America and 

In its Literary Department will be found a great variety of entertaia^ 
ing matter, comprising Serial Stories, Sketches of Foreign and American 
Life, short Tales, Poems, interesting reading for the Young Folks, etc., etc. 

T E3 K. HVvdl S : 

S2.50 Per Annum, Payable in Advance. 

Address HARDY & MAHONY, 

Pnblisliers and Proprietors, 
505 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 


St. Mary's College, 

Marion County, Kentucky, possesses the advan- 
tages of a most healthful country locality, free 
from all distractions; enforces diligence and 
discipline strictly, and is able to give boys excel- 
lent instruction and unusually good board and 
treatment at very reasonable rates. For cata- 
logue write to 

Rev. David Fennessy, C.R., 

St. Mary's, Ky. 

Mt. St. Joseph Academy, 

Chestnut Hill, Phila. Conducted by the Sisters 
of St. Joseph. ThivS Institution offers exceptional 
facilities for the acquisition of a thorough Eng- 
lish education. 

Special students in Music will find the Course 
and Methods pursued very conducive to rapid 
advancement. Full particulars in catalogue, for 

which applv to 

Mother Superior. 

St. Mary's Academy. 

The Thirty-third Academic Year will open on 
the first Monday in September, 1888. School of 
Art and Design. Conservatory of Music on the 
plan of best conservatories of Europe. Acade- 
mic course is thorough in the Preparatory, Senior 
and Classical grades. Drawing and Painting 
from Life and the Antique, Phonography and 
Type-Writing taught. Apply for catalogue to 

Mother Superior, 

St. Mary's Academy, Notre Dame, St. Joseph Co., 


Preparatory School for Boys 

Fayetteville, Brown County, Ohio. 

For boys between the ages of 3 and 12. Con- 
ducted by the Sisters of Charity. Reopens first 
week in September. Terms very liberal. 

For particulars and terms apply to Cedar 
Grove Academy, Price Hill, Cincinnati, Ohio; 
Sisters of Charity, Fayetteville, Brown Co., 
Ohio, or any of the Catholic Clergy of the city. 

Sisters of the Visitation. 

Academy of the Visitation, Mount de Sales, 
Catonsville, Md. 

This Institution offers every advantage to 
young ladies wishing to receive a solid and 
refined education. Terms moderate. 

Mt. de Chantal, 

A school for young ladies, near Wheeling, W. Va. 
Full English, Mathematical and Classical course. 
A fine Library is at the command of the stu- 
dents. Modern Languages, Drawing and Paint- 
ing. Complete graded course in Vocal and 
Instrumental Music. Location unsurpassed for 
beauty and health. Ten acres of pleasure 
grounds. Board excellent. Apply to 

The Directress. 

St, Joseph's Seminary 

For Colored Missions. There are in the Southern 
States over 6,000,000 Negroes. of whom not 100,000 
are Catholics. The various Protestant sects 
claim but 3,000,000, thus leaving over 3.000,000 
who belong to no church. A double duty, as 
Catholics and Americans, lies upon us. St. 
Joseph's Seminary will help in part to fulfil 
these duties. It needs subjects, who will devote 
themselves to this Apostolic work. It is entirely 
dependent on alms. Address 

Rev. John R. Slattery, Rector, 

St. Joseph's Seminary, Baltimore, Md. 

St. Mary's Academic Instl- 

tute (diocese of vincennes), St Mary's of the 
Woods, Vigo County, Ind. The pupils of this 
spacious and elegantly finished and furnished 
Institute enjoy, at very low rates, every advant- 
age conducive to pleasure and health, together 
with imrivaUed facilities Jor acquinng thorough and 
accomplished education. The scholastic year 
begins September 1st. For terms and other par- 
ticulars, address 

Sister Superior, 

St. Mary's, Vigo Co., Indiana. 

Georgetown Academy of the 

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin. Delight- 
fully situated on Georgetown Heights, near the 
National Capital. Founded 1799. Address, 

Sisters of the Visitation, 
Georgetown Academy, West Washington, D. C. 

Academy Mt. St. Vlncent- 

on-the-Hudson, New York City. The InstituUon 
covers sixty-three acres; a large portion of the 
grounds is thrown open to the pupils. 

The course of study is gfven in the extended 
and illustrated pamphlet or prospectus, sent on 
application. French and German are very thor- 
oughly taught. Terms per annum, including 
music, $400; without music, $310. 

Is^T. ST. IMIj^ie/ir'S OOLLEO-E, 


Conducted by an association of Secular clergymen, under the auspices of His Grace 
the Archbishop of Baltimore. 

This well-known institution combines under one government a Junior Department, 
a Preparatory and Commercial School, a College empowered to confer degrees, and a 
Theological Seminary. Situated on elevated ground, at the foot of the Maryland Blue 
Ridge, far removed from all malarial influences and the distractions of cities, it is re- 
nowned for the health, happiness, and studious habits of its pupils. The College build- 
ings, substantially constructed, have recently been thoroughly renovated, lighted with 
gas, and otherwise improved. 

The scholastic year is divided into two sessions, beginning respectively Sept. 1st and 
Feb. Ist. New students will be admitted at any time. 


Board and Tuition, per session of five montbs, to be paid in advance — Junior Department |125 00 

~ do. In " " ' " ..-..-- 

. do. 

J per session 

In the Ecclesiastical Seminary, per session , 

the Preparatory and Commercial Schools, 135 
' " llei 

Do. do. 

Do, . do. IntheColIege ' .150 00 

Medical^ attendance, per session 5 00 

100 00 
There is no extra charge for French or German. For Catalogues and further information, address, 

Bev. P. ALLEN, A.M., President, Mt. St. Mary's College, Emraitsburg. Md. 


FOUNDED 1789. 

For information address as follows : 
Georgetown College, D. C, 

Rev. James A, Doonan, S. J., Pres't. 
School of Medicine, 

Dr. J. W. H, l.ovejov, 

900 12thSt.,N.W., 

Washington, D. C. 
School of Law, 

Sam'l M. Yeatman, Esq., 

Washington, D. C. 


This College enjoys the powers of a University 
and is conducted by the Jesuit Fathers. It is sit- 
uated in a very beautiful part of New York County 
between the Harlem R. and L. I. Sound. Every 
facility is given for the best Classical, Scientific 
and Commercial Education. Board and Tuition 
per year $300. 

St. John's Hall, a Preparatory School for 
Boys from 10 to 12, is under the same direction. 
For further particulars apply to Rev. John 
Scully, S.J., Pres. 


flpfe Bslablisl^ffieMfe, 

ISO Saratoga. Aveniae, 


The only place where Statues for churches and chap- 
els of all descriptions are made in this country, equal in 
beauty of model, decoration and durability of material for 
at least 30 per cent, cheaper than anywhere else. 

Usual sizes from one to six feet. • 

Colors warranted to wash. 

Statues made also for outdoor at saine prices as the 
indoor would cost. 

Models are made after tlie finest imported French 
and German originals. 

Relief Stations, 2 feet 6 inches by 5 feet, Gothic 
frames, richly decorated, at the extremely low price of 
$350 per set. 

Illustrated Catalogue sent Free on application. 

I will also send a Photographic Album of my Stat- 
uary, etc., if called for, and if postage is paid each way, 
as it must be returned. 

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We have on hand a limited number of full 
sets of the ''American Catholic Quarterly 
Review',' bound in library style, which we 
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VOL. XIV.— APRIL, 1889.— No. 54. 


TTOW much light modern research has thrown on the Middle 
Ages is known to all students of history. They also know 
how strong has been the testimony borne by modern scholarship to 
the beneficent activity of the Popes and the Church in those often 
misjudged times. In the October number of the Review we have 
given some of the most striking results of modern investigation 
on this period. The aim of the article referred to, however, was 
not only to throw light on the " Dark " Ages ; it was broader and 
more comprehensive. Our aim was to prove to our readers, by an 
appeal to the facts, that the Church has nothing to fear, but much 
to hope, from historical science. Lest, however, the premises ap- 
pear too narrow for this conclusion, we shall extend our researches, 
and study another great historical question, the question of the 
** Reformation." 

Of course, we shall not enter into an examination of Luther's 
doctrines, of their truth or consistency. This is foreign to our 
purpose, and besides it is useless to slay the dead; Luther's most 
cardinal doctrine, that of justification by faith alone, was buried by 
his own disciples centuries ago, and not a few of his other doc- 
trines have followed that to the grave. To-day the world is little 
interested in Luther the constructive theologian ; but the history 
of Luther's movements has by no means lost its interest. No 
book, of late, has so exasperated and dismayed the German sup- 
porters of the " Reformation " as Janssen's " History of the German 
VOL. XIV. — 13 

194 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

People." Still Janssen never enters into theological discussions, 
never attempts to analyze or refute Luther's teachings. Whence, 
therefore, the dismay of the " Reformer's " friends ? Because Janssen 
mildly and mercilessly demolishes the traditional Luther; because 
historical truth compelled him to draw attention to some very in- 
convenient features in Luther's career. In the nineteenth century, 
in the days of the Rothschilds and the Bleichroders, it is incon- 
venient for his followers to be regaled with an authentic picture of 
the "Reformer's" brutal intolerance, not only of Catholics — that 
would not have stung the men of the Cultur-KaMpf—huio{]Qws ; 
in the days of the new German empire it is inconvenient to be 
reminded of the " Reformer's" repeated faithlessness to the old Ger- 
man empire ; in the days of Deroulede and the French Patriotic 
League it is inconvenient to read of the "Reformer's" approval of 
the coquetting, nay, the alliance of his friends with Germany's 
arch-enemy. The " Reformation " meant tolerance, we have heard 
re-echoed in every key, major and minor. But the arch-" reformer's" 
own words prove him a brutal denouncer of Catholic, Calvinist, 
and Jew. Luther was the great German patriot, sang his admirers 
in loud chorus. Alas ! that men's writing will live after them ; 
for Luther had written himself down — well, we shall not use harsh 
words — a friend of Germany's hereditary foe. Strange, indeed, and 
unlikely does it appear that error and falsehood should entwine 
themselves around so public, so stupendous a series of events as 
that comprised in the word " Reformation." But history cannot be 
based on assumptions, and the new historical school takes nothing 
for granted. Already it has overhauled a great part of what passed 
.for the history of the " Reformation." It has re-examined old wit- 
nesses, and brought new witnesses on the stand. It has put aside 
second-hand authorities, and gone to the sources. And though it 
is hard for human nature to lay aside long-cherished opinions, even 
non-Catholic followers of the new school have not wilfully closed 
their eyes to the light, nor sealed their lips, when truth brushed 
away the inherited error of ages. We shall review a few of their 

"At one time," says Prof. K. Pearson, "not only the 
Protestants believed^ but leading Protestant historians stated as a 
fact, that Luther had translated the Bible for the first time. Then 
when the existence of eighteen previous editions (printed German 
translations are meant) could no longer be disguised, it was broadly 
hinted that they never reached the people, that they were based 
only on the Vulgate, that the language is awkward, heavy, and 
neither precise in sense nor happy in expression.^ So Goedeke. 

» Prof. Pearson here gives the German text : " Die Sprache ist unbeholfen schwer- 
f allig und weder genau im Sinn noch treffend im Ausdruck." 

Myths and Legends of the '' Reformation ^ 195 

This was met by the proof that their language was a perfect mine 
of folk-expression, homely and true ; nay, further, it was shown 
that Luther, so far from translating from the original Greek, had in 
the New Testament, to a great extent, only modernized the old 
German Vulgate. The September Bible was only a natural growth 
out of the version of the Codex Teplensis of the fourteenth century."* 
" Where Luther does differ from the (pre-' Reformation') German 
Vulgate is very often in those passages in which his own strong 
sense of the righteousness of his own dogma has led him to per- 
vert the text. Against Emser's 2400 ' heretical errors, lies, and 
wrong tense-renderings,' I may cite Bunsen's 3000 inaccuracies. 
. . . Mr. Hutchinson tells us that Luther probably began Greek in 
15 12. We happen to know that he began it in August, 15 18. Let 
me cite what was written two years ago, and remind the reader 
that to revise, not translate, cost our thorough Greek scholars ten 
years' work, 1870-1880. On the 25th of August, 1518, Melanch- 
thon arrived in Wittenberg ; then, for the first time, Luther, attend- 
ing the lectures of Melanchthon, began to study Greek. This is 
shown not only by Luther's letters, but Melanchthon in a speech 
to the students, recommending the study of Greek, points out to 
them Luther's example in Luther himself, who, already advanced 
in years {qnamvis jam senex)^ has learned the Greek tongue. In 
June, 15 19, we have the famous Leipzig disputation with Eck, and 
in April, 1521, Luther arrives in Worms; he is in bitter and pro- 
longed controversy with Eck and Emser, he is writing book after 
book against the Pope and his bull, and he is contesting the 
condemnation of the leading universities of Christendom. In 
1 5 20 alone he publishes three epoch-making works, and yet he must 
find time to study Greek. On December 21st, 1521, Luther wrote 
to Langeof his determination to translate the New Testament, and 
within a less period than three months the work is completed. 
Returning on March ist from the Wartburg to Wittenberg, he 
managed to review the translation with Melanchthon notwith- 
standing the Carlstadt difficulties, and on the 21st of September 
the New Testament is issued completed from the press. To trans- 
late, revise, and print occupied less than nine months, and this 
notwithstanding Luther's three most broken years of Greek study. 
Does not such external evidence fully confirm internal coinci- 
dences and point to Luther's dependence on his predecessors ? '" 

" Luther," says Paulsen, " appreciated the old (classical) writers, 
especially the Roman, which were almost the only classics he 
knew.'" '' The Greek authors," says O. Schmidt, in a pamphlet 

1 K. Pearson in Academy of September 26th, 1885. 

2 K. Pearson in Academy of October loth, 1885, pp. 240-1. 
' Paulsen, /. c, p. 147. 

196 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

on " Luther's acquaintance with the Classics," '' were little known 

to him.'" 

The fact that in Germany at least fourteen high-German and 
four low-German translations of the Bible had been printed before 
the " Reformation " could no longer be denied. It was a bitter dose 
for the old-fashioned worshippers of Luther. Must they concede 
that their prophet was wrong ? that he had slandered the Catholic 
Church ? that the Church had not withheld from her children the 
saving nourishment of the Bible? It was too much to expect 
such an admission at once. They set their wits to work, and lo ! 
they thought they had found a way to escape the disagreeable 
inference. The eighteen editions were printed — that could not be 
denied ; the books were in evidence. But were they printed by 
Catholics and for Catholics ? Was the translation a Catholic 
translation ? For whom, suggested common sense, if not for 
Catholics should they be printed ? Was not Germany, as a whole, 
Catholic before Luther ? The censorship of books existed in the 
electorate of Mainz since i486, and Archbishop Berthold, of 
Mainz, bid the censors withhold their approval from books " if 
perchance they cannot be correctly translated, if they rather beget 
scandal and error, or offend modesty." Nevertheless, twelve out 
of the eighteen German Bible translations were printed in the 
province of Mainz. Were the censors asleep ? or how could four- 
teen editions of a heretical Bible be published there, and for 
heretics, too ? 

Serious difficulties these. Still they did not appal the zealous 
defenders of Luther. In 1885 a Protestant clergyman, Keller 
by name, published a work on " The Reformation and the Older 
Reform Parties." He had made a discovery. " The opinion here- 
tofore prevailing, that the German Bible translation sprang from 
orthodox Roman Catholic sources, is wholly false ; the German 
people owes it to the Bible-believing heretics, the Waldensians." 
Protestant critics, even such as otherwise condemned the book 
without mercy, admitted this conclusion. Keller's arguments, 
however, were by no means convincing. So, in the same year. Dr. 
H. Haupt published a new work to correct and complete the reason- 
ing. But, alas! for the futility of human endeavors! Scarcely 
had Haupt placed his book before the public when forthwith 
comes forward another non- Catholic, Dr. Franz Jostes,^ and topples 
over the beautifully constructed house of cards. Keller's and 
Haupt's arguments, external and internal, are tested and found to 

1 Quoted by Paulsen on the same page. 

2 Dr. F. Jostes, Die Waldenser und die vorlutherische deutsche Bibeliibersetzung. 
Munster, 1885. 


Myths and Legends of the '' Reformation r 197 

be based on imagination and ignorance. " The writer " (Jostes), 
says Prof. Pearson, " subjects the Keller-Haupt hypothesis to a 
fairly searching criticism, which will do much to assuage that sec- 
tarian enthusiasm which has swept through the Protestant press' 

of Germany We shall note with some curiosity whether 

the remarkable interest, recently manifested by Lutheran theolo- 
gians for the pre- Lutheran Vulgate, will now begin to subside." 

So much for the German pre-Lutheran Bible translations. But 
what of Haupt's assertion that the Church had forbidden wholly the 
use of Bible translations ? It is true that in certain places and for 
good reasons certain translations were forbidden in the eleventh, 
twelfth, and thirteenth centuries. But " in Spain only were Spanish 
translations generally prohibited by royal edict since the end of the 
thirteenth century."^ *'In Germany, the only prohibition (which was 
no prohibition at all) is contained in a decree of Berthold, Arch- 
bishop of Mainz, establishmg a preventive censorship."* "By the 
Council of Trent, and not before, the use of German Bibles by laymen 
was greatly restricted, though not wholly forbidden. But the pro- 
scription was by many not regarded as binding. The Bavarian cata- 
logue of forbidden books for 1 566, for example, mentions among the 
most useful books for laymen the Bibles of Eck and Dietenberger, 
the New Testament of Emser, and the very old translation of the 

Bible or of some extracts therefrom which, however, are 

not often printed now. As late as 161 2 the Jesuit Serarius says : 
" If anyone in Germany reads without special permission the 
Bible of Eck or Dietenberger, this is not only not censured or 
punished by bishops, pastors, and confessors, but rather approved 
and praised, as if a general permission had been given."" 

How bitterly opposed Catholic priests were to the reading of the 
Bible in the fifteenth century may be inferred from a fact recorded 
at Leyden, in the Netherlands, at that time a part of the German 
Emperor's possessions. " There, in the year 1462, Willem Heer- 
man, a respected burgher, presented to the city a copy of the com- 
plete German Bible, prepared by his own hand. This copy was 
placed in St. Peter's Church for the use of ' all good honest men, 
who wish to read therein and study something good.' During 
the Middle Ages the churches were always open throughout the 
day."* '' Regarding the spread of our old Bible translation," says 
W. Moll, Professor of Protestant Theology at Amsterdam. *' we can 
report but little. As far as the lay world is concerned it was 

1 Reusch, Index der verbotenen Blicher, vol. i., p. 43. quoted in Josies, Die Wal- 
denser, p. 21. Reusch is an Old Catholic. 

=« Jostes, /. ^ , p. 22. 3 jostes, /. c, p. 231. * .Testes, /. c, p. 2S1. 

ip8 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

probably most often used in women's convents, in Beguin houses, 
and in assemblies of Sisters of the Common Life, and moreover in 
men's convents, which, besides monks, also included uneducated lay 
brothers. That since the middle of the fifteenth century it existed in 
many, if not in all, convents, either complete or in extracts, is likely 
in view of the copies which exist in our public and private libraries, 
which are numerous, and generally bear the proofs of coming 
from convents."^ The history of the French Bible during the 
Middle Ages has recently been traced by M. Samuel Berger in 
his work, La Bible Frangaise an Moyen Age. He found a French 
version ofthe books of Samuel and the Kings dating back as early as 
1 1 50 A.D. In the thirteenth century the whole Bible was translated, 
some books being accompanied with a commentary. "About 1300 
A.D., Desmoulins, Canon of Aire in Anjou, wrote in the Picard dia- 
lect his ' Bible Historiale^ made up of the text of the Bible with 
some omissions and a free translation of the Historia Scholastica of 

Petrus Comestor The first volume of Desmoulins, and the 

second volume of the Century Bible, make up the received French 
Bibles of the Middle Ages, which spread in countless copies over 
Europe, from England to Italy."'' Here, too, as recently in Ger- 
many, the Waldenses were called in to account for the numerous 
French Bibles. " During this period " (eleventh century to St. Louis), 
says Mr. Wicksteed in the same article, " falls that attack on the 
Bible readers of Metz under Innocent III., round which a romantic 
legend has grown up, tempting uncritical critics to identify every 
version of the Bible with the supposed work of Pierre Valdus, 
* La Bible des Vaudois! M. Berger shows, with admirable diligence, 

that no such work ever existed So ends * la Legende de 

la Bible des Vaudois! "^ In England the venerable Bede translated 
parts of the Scriptures as early as the eighth century, and the 
Psalms were translated by King Alfred. After the Norman Con- 
quest, besides partial translations, we know of a complete one 
dated 1290, and in the fourteenth century the new version of John 
of Treviso was made. Such of our readers as desire to know more 
of the vernacular versions of the Bible we refer to Spalding's 
History of the Reformation (vol. i., p. 292). One more fact may 
be cited to show how false it is that the Church forbade the reading 
of the Bible. " How great a number of readers," says the Protestant 
Geffcken, " is presupposed by ninety-eight editions of the whole 
Latin Bible, which are catalogued by Hain up to a.d. 1500 as num- 
bers 303 1-3 128." In the fifty years immediately succeeding the 

1 Moll, Kerkgeschiedenis van Nederland vor de Hervorming, ii., 334, quoted in 
Jostes, /. c, p. 24. 

' P. H. Wicksteed in Academy, No. 647. 
* Wicksteed in the same article. 

Myths and Legends of the ''Reformation:' 199 

invention of printing, so extensive a work as the Latin Bible— the 
complete Latin Bible— is published ninety-eight times, besides 
eighteen German translations, and men will still believe Luther's 
assertion, that " the Biblia were unknown to people under popery." 
"■ In the fifteenth century," says Prof. Pearson, " it (the Catholic 
Church) certainly did not hold back the Bible from the folk. And 
it gave them in the vernacular a long series of devotional works, 
which for language and religious sentiment have never been sur- 
passed. Indeed, we are inclined to think it made a mistake in 
allowing the masses such ready access to the Bible. It ought to 
have recognized the Bible once and for all as a work absolutely 
unintelligible without a long course of historical study, and so 
long as it was supposed to be inspired, very dangerous in the 
hands of the ignorant."^ 

The immorality of the ancient clergy has always been a favor- 
ite theme with the *' Reformers " and their admirers. This immoral- 
ity, we are told again and again, was undoubtedly one of the 
chief causes of the " Reformation.^^ Let us hear, however, one of 
the best informed authorities on the condition of England in 
Henry VIII. 's time, the late Prof. Brewer. " Nor considering the 
temper of the English people, is it probable that immorality could 
have existed among the ancient clergy to the degree which the 
exaggeration of poets, preachers, and satirists might lead us to 
suppose. The existence of such corruption is not justified by 
authentic documents, or by an impartial and broad estimate of the 
character and conduct of the nation before the Reformation. 
There is nothing more difficult than for contemporaries to form, 
from their own limited experience, a just estimate of the morality 
of the times in which they live; and if the complaints of preach- 
ers and moralists are to be accepted as authoritative on this head, 
there would be no difficulty in producing abundant evidence from 
the Reformers themselves that the abuses and enormities of their 
own age under Edward VI. and Elizabeth were far greater than 
in the ages preceding."^ 

Later researches strongly support Prof Brewer's views. The 
results of these researches are laid down chiefly in the Benedictine 
Dom Gasquet's work on " Henry VIII. and the Suppression of 
the English Monasteries," and in the tenth volume of the " Letters 
and Papers of the Reign of Henry VIII./' edited by James Gairdner. 
That sensitively moral monarch, bluff King Harry, appointed a 
commission to visit the monasteries, and it is chiefly on the 
strength of its report that the grossest vices have been imputed to 

1 Prof. Pearson in Academy, August 7th, 1886, p. 85. 

2 Brewer, "The Reign of Henry VIII.," vol. ii., p. 469- 

200 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

the English monks of Henry's time by historian after historian. 
What is the verdict of scientific history on these charges ? There is 
no more fair and competent authority on this period of English his- 
tory and on this question than the Protestant editor of the records 
of the reign of Henry VHL, James Gairdner. Here is his opin- 
ion as laid down in a criticism of Dom Gasquet's work in the 
Academy oi February 25th, 1888, p. 125. "A mysterious Black 
Book is supposed to have been compiled when the monasteries 
were visited in the reign of Henry VHI.; and such extraordinary 
revelations were then made of the dissolute lives of monks and nuns, 
that an indignant Parliament insisted on the suppression of these 
dens of vice. That the Black Book had disappeared with all its 
damning evidence, was a fact which occasioned no difficulty to a 
writer like Burnet, who found that in the reign of Queen Mary a 
commission was granted to Bonner and others to examine the 
records of "divers infamous scrutinies in religious houses." The 
commission itself, indeed, said nothing about the destruction of 
these records when found ; but rather that they should be ' brought 
to knowledge.' Still it was clear to the Protestant mind (at least 
in the days of Bp. Burnet) that the only object of inquiring after 
such things could be to destroy the evidences of things casting 
such deep discredit on the papal system. Well, whatever may 
have become of the * Black Book ' itself, it is clear that the de- 
struction of evidence could not have gone very far ; for at least 
three or four documents still exist (and were referred to by Burton 
in his "Anatomy of Melancholy " long before Burnet wrote), giving 
a black enough account of the state of the monasteries in Henry 
Vni.'s time just before their suppression. These three or four 
separate documents were possibly intended to form parts of a com- 
prehensive book reporting on monasteries throughout England ; 
but altogether they embrace only certain districts, and it is clear 
only a minority of the houses are reported on even in these. 
These reports contain accusations of the foulest character — often 
of unmentionable crimes — against several of the inmates, in a con- 
siderable number of the houses. But they are accusations merely, 
unaccompanied by a particle of evidence to support them ; and 
we know quite well now-a-days by whom and under what circum- 
stances they were drawn up. They are in the hand-writing of 
John ap Rice, a notary who accompanied Cromwell's visitor, Dr. 
Legh, in the work of inspecting the monasteries ; and we can dis- 
tinctly trace in the correspondence of Dr. Legh himself and his 
fellow visitor, Dr. Layton, the dates at which each of these separ- 
ate reports was transmitted to their master It appears 

that the whole work was done with such amazing rapidity that it 
is simply out of the question to suppose that anything like the 

Myths and Legends of the '' Reformation P 201 

enormities reported were proved by anything like a judicial inquiry. 

.... That the case against the monasteries was prejudiced, 
appears clearly from some of the letters of the visitors themselves.' 
When Layton, in a fit of comparative honesty, had spoken well of 
the monastery of Glastonbury, he was admonished that his report 
did not give satisfaction ; so he wrote immediately to apologize for 
his * indiscreet praise,' acknowledging that the Abbott appeared 
' neither to have known God, nor his prince, nor any part of a 
good Christian man's religion !' And to avoid a similar mistake 
at St. Mary's, York, he writes that he ' supposes to find evil dispo- 
sition both in the Abbott and convent, whereof, God willing, I shall 
certify you in my next letters.' It is needless to say that the 
testimony of such an accuser is absolutely worthless. And as for 
his fellow, Dr. Legh — even his associate Ap Rice felt compelled to 
write to Cromwell of his tyranny and extortion, begging him at 
the same time not to disclose that he had done so, else his life 
would hardly be safe from the bullies and serving men in Legh's 

" Finally the accusations, when they had served their purpose, 
were discredited even by a royal commission issued immediately 
afterwards to report upon the condition of the monasteries with a 
view to their suppression. .... Strange to say, the returns 
of this commission, so far as they have been collected hitherto, 
give the monks in almost all the houses a high character for pro- 
bity, zeal, hospitality, and sometimes (we may add) for particular 
kinds of industry, such as writing, embroidery, or painting. Nor 
is this all ; for it stands no less clearly recorded that several of 
these monasteries which look worst in the reports of the visitors, 
stood highest in the esteem of the neighbors — the country gentle- 
men who had the duty imposed upon them of making these 
returns. The huge mass of scandal compiled by Drs. Legh and 
Layton was clearly believed by no one, not even by the King or 
Cromwell, or, we may add, by the visitors themselves." " Some- 
thing much worse than the grossest exaggerations," says the 
Athenceum (Feb. i8th, 1888), "something much more like impudent 
and enormous lying — is the rule and not the exception in the re- 
turns of the King's first inquisitors Perhaps the strongest 

impression that this (tenth) volume of the Calendars produces 
upon the reader is not that the history of Henry VIH. will have 
to be re-written, but that it has never been written at all." 

So much on the corruption of the clergy in England.. In Ger- 
many similar charges were first made against the clergy, and 
above all against the university men in the famous '' Epistol(2 
Obscurorum Virorninr These '* obscure men," to wit, Ulrich von 
Hutten, Mutianus and his friends of the Erfurt University, where 

202 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

Luther formed one of the circle, poured forth the most unmeas- 
ured abuse against the morals, the ignorance, and the shabby- 
ragged dress of the university clergy. ** Was this a true picture 
of the university men ? " asks Prof. Paulsen. "As regards their 
hatred of poetry, of pure Latin, of the Greek language, in short 
of humanism, the account which follows will prove that the uni- 
versities did not all deserve this reproach. As regards profligacy 
and disgraceful neglect of dress, no one will be surprised that 
then, as at all times, they were met with at the universities. 
About one circle of university men we are specially well in- 
formed on this point, the circle to which the authors of this satire 
belonged. What Mutianus, otherwise a respectable man, thought 
of sexual relations, we may read in the letters, hitherto unpub- 
lished, given by Janssen and Krause, in which he advises his young 
friends to help themselves. That Hutten needed no adviser on 
this point is well enough known. On the ragged appearance, 
poverty, and beggary of the same men (the dark men ) the 
same works give us manifold, but by no means pleasant, informa- 
tion. It is strange that Strauss (the author of the ^' Life of Christ") 
could represent as the champion of human liberty and German 
culture the Franconian Knight (Von Hutten), who, wasting of a 
wretched disease, always penniless, but full of magnificent preten- 
tions, roamed from place to place and stimulated the generosity of 
lords, spiritual and temporal, with Latin verses. But he assailed 
Rome. I think better weapons and better men were needed, and 
are still needed every day in the struggle for German liberty and 
culture."^ How much faith the unblushing effrontery of Hutten 
and his friends deserves, it takes no Solomon to determine. On 
many other points of their indictment, Paulsen has convicted the 
" dark men " of exaggeration, falsehood, and slander. Is it rash 
to infer that they exaggerated on this point also ? True, the lead- 
ing " Reformers,'' many of whom were by no means vestal virgins, 
were mostly run-away monks and apostate priests ; true, Hkewise, 
that the German clergy of the time, whose bishops were princes 
first, and, in not a few instances, princes first, last, and all the 
time — men who too often did not watch over their flocks and their 
pastors — were far less worthy men than the German clergy of 
to-day. On the other hand, we should not forget that opportunity 
makes thieves. Many of these men, in other more peaceful days, 
with no Luther and Carlstadt issuing trumpet call after trumpet 
call to monks and nuns, summoning them to cast aside their 
promises and break their vows, might have lived in honest ob- 
scurity, instead of becoming firebrands of scandal and preachers 

1 Paulsen, /, c, p. 51. 

Myths and Legends of the '' Reformation.'^ 203 

of sedition. On the whole, then, whilst admitting many abuses, 
it is safe not to place implicit trust in the unblushing accusers of 
the Von Hutten type, and to make great allowance even when we 
read the invectives of honest satirists and zealous preachers. 

Protestant historians of the past have generally represented the 
" Reformation" as a movement that swept over England and Ger- 
many like a whirlwind; the word "whirlwind" hardly did justice 
to the rapidity of the movement. It leaped from end to end of 
Germany like an electric flash. Reading these writers, you fancied 
the whole German and English peoples, standing like hungry 
birdlings, anxious to be fed with the pap of the new and pure " gos- 
pel." It was a heart-moving picture : it was more, it was an appeal 
to the jury on the vox popidi vox Dei principle. In these days of 
universal suffrage, who could doubt that the '^ Reformers" were 
right, when they had the majority ? But unluckily the muse of 
history cannot be won with sentimental imagery. She brushes the 
pictures away like cobwebs and probes the facts. And what are 
the facts? "The Reformation" (in England), says Prof. Brewer, 
"did not owe its origin to Tyndale or to Parliament, to the corrup- 
tions of the clergy or the oppression of the ecclesiastical courts. 
There is no reason to believe that the nation as a body was dis- 
contented with the old religion. Facts point to the opposite con- 
clusion. Had it been so, Mary, whose attachment to the faith of 
her mother was well known, would never have been permitted to 
mount the throne or have found the task comparatively easy, see- 
ing that the Reformers under Edward VI. had been suffered to 
have their own way unchecked and to displace from power and 
influence all who opposed their religious principles. Long down 
into the reign of Elizabeth, according to the testimony of a mod- 
ern historian, the old faith still numbered a majority of adherents 
in England. The experiment would have been hazardous at any 
time from Henry VIII. to the Spanish invasion if a plebiscite 
could have been impartially taken of the religious sentiments of 
the people. This rooted attachment to the old faith and the diffi- 
culty everywhere experienced by the Government and the bishops 
in weaning the clergy and their flocks from their ancient tenden- 
cies, is a sufficient proof that it was not unpopular."^ 

" I think," says Bishop Stubbs, "that after what I have saia, you 
will allow me to say that I have grounds for believing that Henry 
VIII. was the master, and in no sense the minister, of his people; 
that where he carried their good (?) will with him, it was by 
forcing, not by anticipating or even educating it. I am obliged 
altogether to reject the notion that he was the interpreter in any 

1 Brewer, "The Reign of Henry VIII.," vol. ii., p. 469- 

204 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

sense of the wishes of his people; the utmost that he did in this 
direction was to manipulate and utilize their prejudices to his 
own purposes."^ At the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign, 
after Henry VIII. had used both force and money to wean his 
nobles and people from their allegiance to Rome, after the Pro- 
tector Somerset and the other statesmen of Edward VI. had 
striven by hook or crook to make England Protestant, after 
Mary's short and in many respects unfortunate reign, " in number 
the laity, who preferred the mass to the prayer-book, and perhaps 
the Pope to the Queen as a spiritual head, have been reckoned at 
nearly two-thirds of the whole population."'^ 

In Germany, the birth-place of the " Reformation,'' Luther's in- 
novations were by no means received by the people with universal 
acclaim. Luther himself was fully aware of this. He did not 
abolish the Mass at once : not even in the electorate of Saxony, 
where he was permitted by the Elector to wield almost unbounded 
power in religious affairs. He bade the preachers omit the words 
in the Canon and Collect that implied a sacrifice. " But the priest 
may omit this readily, without its being noticed by the common 
people, and without giving scandal."^ So Luther in 1526. " Dur- 
ing a visitation held in the districts of Borma and Tenneberg in 
January, 1526, by order of the Selector of Saxony, it became ap- 
parent how Lutheranism, at that time, had made far from general 
progress. In Tenneberg, which included twelve parishes, not a 
single clergyman preached * the Gospel,' z>., Luther's doctrine. 
Only an odd parish desired a change in the sense of the Reform- 
ers."* In 1528 Melanchthon made an official visitation of Thiir- 
ingen. He found the people attached neither to the new doctrine 
nor to its preachers. " We see," he wrote in 1528, " how the people 
hate us."^ In 1530 things had not improved. Luther's father 
lay critically ill at Mansfeld ; the son was anxious, consoled his 
father, but dared not visit him, fearing the people might kill him. 
"I am exceedingly anxious," he wrote to his father, "to come to 
see you in person ; but my good friends have advised against it 
and dissuaded me, and I, myself, was forced to think that I must 
not risk danger and tempt God, for you know how lords and 
peasants love me." The people were still so devoted to the old 
Church that Luther maintained : " Were I willing, I am easily 

1 W. Stubbs, " On the Study of Mediaeval and Modern History," p. 289. 

2 T. G. Laws in the English Historical Review, vol. i., p. 514. 

* Luther, Sair.tutliche Werke, vol. 28, p. 304-5, quoted by Janssen, Geschichte des 
deutschen Volkes, iii., p. 62. * Janssen, /. c. iii., p. 56. 

^ Janssen, /. r., p. 64. 


Myths and Legends of the '* Refonnationr 205 

confident that I could, by two or three sermons, preach back my 
people into popery and establish new pilgrimages and masses." 
" I know for certain that here in Wittenberg there are hardly ten that 
I could not mislead, were I willing to practise again such holiness 
as I practised in popery, when I was a monk."' Even in 1535 
Luther and " the Saxon theologians would not concede the demand 
of the Zwinglian preachers to do away with the Elevation, the 
Mass vestments and the altar candles, because they feared thereby 
to call forth excitement among the people.'" About the religious 
feeling in Brunswick two official Lutheran visitors wrote to Bugen- 
hagen in 1543: "In all churches and country parishes, though 
lying near each other, each one wishes to teach and administer the 
sacrament after his own head and fashion. Many parsons com- 
plain that the people will not go to the Lord's supper, nay contemn 
sermons and sacraments, and say publicly : the parsons are not at one 
about the Gospel, why should we heed them ? I will hold to my old 
faith.'" ''The greatest part of the people," said Court-preacher 
Hieronymus Rauscher of Amberg in 1552, " in deep sorrow, turns 
its eyes to Godless popery, foams and gabbles at all times: 'Since 
the new doctrine began its course, there has been no luck and 
happiness in the world : people grow worse, not better, in conse- 
quence of evangelical preaching.' Even a generation later 
Preacher George Steinhart, at Ottersdorf, heard people say : "Ah ! 
Away with this doctrine ! Under the Pope's rule things went well, 
those were good times, and we had all things in plenty; but since 
the Gospel sprang up, leaves and grass, luck, rain, and blessings 
have disappeared."* In the Netherlands things looked very ill for 
the " Godly" undertaking of the house of Nassau ; every effort was 
made to Calvinize the Provinces, but met with little success. " Of 
the general states and the noblest of the land," wrote Count John 
(of Nassau), on March 13th, 1578, to Count William of Hesse. 
" no one has hitherto publicly declared for ' religion,' nor seriously 
worked for it; of the people only now and then the poor common 

In England, Germany, Holland, we see, there was no violent 
hunger after the "new gospel," and yet these three countries were 
the birthplace, the home and the hot-bed of the " Reformers," 
" Where Protestantism was an idea only," says Bishop Stubbs, "as 
in Spain and Italy, it was crushed out by the Inquisition ; where, 
in conjunction with political power and sustained by ecclesiastical 

1 Quoted in Janssen, /. c. iii., p. 1 88. ' Janssen, /, c. iii., p. 355. 

3 Janssen, /. c. iii., pp. 494-5. * Janssen, /. c. iii., p. 702. 

5 Janssen,/. r, v., p. 5. 

2o6 American Catholic Quarterly Revie^v. 

confiscation, it became a physical force, there it was lasting. It is 
not a pleasant view to take of the doctrinal changes, to see that 
where the movement toward it was pure and unworldly, it failed; 
where it was seconded by territorial greed and political animosity, 
it succeeded."^ 

How unfounded was Luther's assertion that before his day little 
preaching was done, we have shown in the article on the " Myths 
of the Middle Ages," published in the October number of the 
American Catholic Quarterly, last year (p. 604). The lack of 
preaching could not have caused the" Reformation " and its spread. 
Indeed, it is far from true that, even at the beginning of the " Reforma- 
tion" there was everywhere more preaching of the new faith than 
there had been of the old. In Germany and Holland, no doubt, 
there was no lack of preachers damning the Pope and the Papists 
up and down, and the Protestant dissidents down and up ; if damn- 
ing up and down was preaching the new faith, the new faith was 
abundantly preached. In England, however, "what contrasts 
strangely with the reforming movement in Germany," says the 
Saturday Review, "so far from any pains being taken to present 
the new doctrine to the people, the pulpit stood silent, /<^r//^ by 
order, as well as from lack of preachers. The Council ordered the 
bishops to prevent a thing so inconsistent as the preaching of 
itinerant ministers, and even the licensed preachers, of whom there 
were very few, were forbidden to discourse except on certain fixed 
days. Bucer complained that there were parishes where no ser- 
mon had been preached for years. Whether from distrust of the 
clergy, or from a desire to keep the mass of the people in ignorance 
of the real nature of the religious innovations being forced upon 
them with a high hand till all was over, preaching was in every 
way discountenanced or suppressed, so that in truth the great 
destitution of preaching, which the Reformation produced, was the 
main cause of the beginning of English Dissent."^ 

" But, perhaps," says the same writer, " what will most startle 
those who have been used to take a rose-colored view, we do not 
say of the ' Reformation ' — that largely depends upon religious 
convictions — but of the English * Reformers,' is the evidence here 
produced of the unscrupulous tyranny and obscurantism of their 

whole method of procedure What is curious, and will to 

many readers be a surprise, is that every means was taken by those 
in authority, as though of deliberate intent, to discourage learning 

1 Bp. Stubbs, " Lectures on Mediaeval and Modern History," p. 233. 
» Saturday Review, July 3d, 1886, p. 22, in an article on Rev. R. W. Dixon's 
" History of the Church of England."' 

Myths and Legends of the " Reformation:' 207 

and foster ignorance, alike in the higher classes and among the 
masses of the people. Thus, to begin with the two universities, a 
royal commission visited them in 1549, which, under pretence of 
reforming, went far to destroy them altogether, and Oxford and 
Cambridge seemed in danger of actually sharing the fate of the 
monasteries. Ridley, whose name stood on both commissions, 
attempted some ineffectual resistance, but was easily overborne. 
Dr. Cox, Chancellor of Oxford, who was on the commission, won 
with too good reason the unenviable nickname of Canceller of the 
University ! Under his auspices whole libraries at Oxford were 
destroyed ; * a cart load of manuscript on theology and the sciences,' 
from Merton, and 'great heaps of books from Balliol, Queen's, 
Exeter, and Lincoln' were publicly burnt in the market-place. 
Meanwhile the choristers and grammar-school boys of the different 
College schools at both universities were turned out and the 
schools themselves suppressed." 

In Germany, we know of no equally wanton destruction of 
books and schools. Still the effects of the " Reformation" movement 
were equally fatal to learning and education. As early as 1526, 
the Saxon visitors report the almost universal destruction of the 
parish schools in electoral Saxony.^ The younger humanists had 
hailed Luther as a saviour and welcomed his revolt. " Before long " 
says Paulsen, ^* the young humanists, who just then so gaily ac- 
companied Luther to the war, and considered Erasmus as a timid 
old man, were disappointed. As early as 1524 even the dullest 
had their eyes opened. The universities and schools almost came 
to nothing amidst the tempests of the religious struggle." It is 
instructive to look at a few details. " The university of Erfurt was 
the only one of the German universities which adopted the new 
doctrine ; it was also the first that was undone by it. . . . After 
1523 immatriculation stopped altogether; the university almost 
ceased to exist. ... In 15 24 the Erfurt town-council cut down the 
salary of the rector of the university, Eobanus Hessus, and in 1526 
he went to Nuremberg. He returned in 1533, but the university 
never regained its strength ; after wasting for 300 years it died." 
At the beginning Melanchthon's Greek lectures at Wittenberg 
were crowded ; in 1524 four attended his lectures on Demosthenes; 
in 1527 the attendance was less; in that year, however, the plague 
drove Melanchthon to Jena. Leipzig suffered greatly; Frankfort 
on the Oder died out entirely between 1520-30, partly because of 
the religious troubles, partly in consequence of the plague. At 
Rostock the number of students sank rapidly after 1523; in 1529 
not a single matriculation; from 1530-36 the university was 
practically dead. In a report of 1530 the council of the university 

1 Janssen, Gesch. des deutschen Volkes, iii., p. 63. 

2o8 American Catholic Quarterly Review^ 

pronounced the Martinian, i.e., Lutheran faction to be the cause. 
At Greifswald no matriculants between 1525 and 1539. At 
Cologne the number of matriculations fell from 3-400 to between 
36 and 96 in 1527-43. About 15 15 Vienna matriculated 600 per 
year; in 1530 the whole number of students was 30. The uni- 
versity records, as early as 1522, claim that the cause of the decline 
is that the Lutheran sect advises against studies and the taking of 
degrees. At Heidelberg there were more professors than students, 
whilst at Basel the university was suspended in 1529. In both 
universities the "Reformation" was charged with their ruin. Ingol- 
stadt, which under the leadership of Eck destroyed every trace of 
the vinis Lutheranwn, fared best. The average of the matricula- 
tions from 1 5 18-15 50 was 136, only 36 less than in the period 
immediately preceding.^ " The same decline appeared in the lower 

Dr. Dixon's as well as Paulsen's statements are based on the 
most careful original research. They show not only what the 
religious revolution of the sixteenth century did to destroy, but what 
the Church of the Middle Ages had done to build up, learning. 
All the universities mentioned, besides others in Italy, France, 
Poland, had been founded by Catholic princes or cities, and none 
without the co-operation of the Pope. 

That Luther, so to say, rediscovered the Bible, that he first trans- 
lated it into German, that before him little preaching was done in 
the vernacular, that the " Reformation" was a popular movement, 
that it promoted learning and literature, — all these well-worn 
assertions modern research has pronounced to be myths. There 
remain a few claims and statements which, while they do not, 
like the foregoing, assail the Church, are nevertheless interesting. 
They illustrate Lutheran hero-worship, and show how dangerous 
it is to accept without careful critical examination many points of 
Protestant tradition, no matter how often and how confidently 
repeated. They are legends that grew up not all in Luther's day, 
but many of them much later, perhaps as late as after the Thirty 
Years' War. Indeed, in some cases, Luther's own writings refute the 
claims made for him by his admirers. The first of these legends is 
the story that Luther closed his speech before the Diet of Worms 
in 1 52 1 with the memorable words: " Here I stand, I cannot do 
otherwise." Again and again they have called forth the admira- 
tion of Protestant writers ; again and again they have been praised 
as the expression of the Reformer's manly and earnest determina- 
tion. Like the famous e piir si muove of Galileo, however, 
Luther's heroic expression turns out to be unhistorical. This was 

1 These details are taken from Paulsen, Gesch. des gelehrten Unterrichts, p. 138 ff. 
" Paulsen, /. c, p. 143. 

Myths and Legends of the " Reformationr 209 

proved by Burkhardt, a Protestant, in the " Theologische Studien 
und Kritiken" (1869, p. 517-31)-' Burkhardt's proposition is con- 
firmed by Balan,who,in his Momimenta Reformatio nis Lutherance, 
gives the contemporary report of Luther's speech. It does not 
contain the famous traditional words. 

That Luther invented the new high-German language, is a legend 
which has been repeated even quite recently over the names of 
such men as Von Treitschke, Mommsen, Droysen, and Virchow. 
Luther himself says quite the reverse, and his words are confirmed 
by the best authorities on the history of the German language, 
such as the brothers Wilhelm and Jakob Grimm. " In reply to 
the question, whence Luther took this language " (the German of 
his Bible and other writings), says Osthoff, "he himself informs 
us that ' he uses no particular or peculiar language in German,' z>., 
no special dialect, but ' the language of the Saxon Chancery,' which 
is used by all the kings and princes of Germany."^ Latin ceased 
to be used for documentary purposes in the first half of the four- 
teenth century. For some time thereafter the dialect of each princi- 
, pality was used in its official papers. Under Karl IV. and Wenzel 
(i 347-1400), of the Luxemburg-Bohemian line, the Imperial Chan- 
cery used a language based on the German spoken at Prague, but 
modified ; this was gradually adopted in upper and central Ger- 
many. In the second half of the fifteenth century the Saxon Chan- 
cery gradually discarded the words peculiar to central Germany, 
and used only such as were common to central and upper Germany. 
The accession of Frederick the Wise (1485), according to the 
latest researches, marks the time when the approximation of the 
language used by the Saxon Chancery to that used by the Imperial 
Chancery was carried out. *' The language, therefore, which Luther 
introduced into general literary and private use as that of the 
Saxon Chancery, did not differ from the language of the docu- 
ments spread by Maximilian I. and his secretaries throughout the 

Empire Luther did not create the unity of German 

speech as if by a single stroke. Only the fifst firm and lasting 
foundation thereof was laid by him and the Reformation. For a 
long time after in low-German countries, low-German was spoken 
in pulpit, school, and court. The Bible, catechism, and hymn-book 
were even translated from Luther's text into the several dialects. 
On Catholic Germany, the larger half of the Empire, the effect of 
Luther's language as well as of the Reformation itself was slight. 
And Luther's language, in spite of its universalizing tendency, was 
still too provincial, nay too individually colored, to be fitted to be 

1 Cited in Geschichtsliigen, p. 432. 

2 Osthoff, Schriftsprache und Volksmundart, p. 4. 

VOL. XIV. — 14 

2IO American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

a universal means of communication, to become the natural 
German written and book language, without further changes."' 

Another flower which Luther's admirers have striven to weave 
into the legendary chaplet of his fame, is that he was the father of 
German congregational singing. But one by one the petals have 
fallen from the flower, and to-day it is uncertain whether more than 
five or six hymns, and whether a single one of the melodies formerly 
ascribed to him, can justly and fully be called his. Luther was 
fond of singing and music, but he himself never claimed to have 
written and composed all the hymns published in his hymn-book. 
In the preface to the edition of 1535, he says : " Now follow some 
sacred songs made by our forefathers {von den alten gemacht). 
These old songs we have taken with us as a testimony of some 
pious Christians that lived before our time in the great darkness 
of false doctrine, that it may be seen how there have always been 
people who rightly knew Christ and by God's grace were miracu- 
lously preserved in this knowledge." In the preface to his book 
of " Christian song, Latin and German, for burial," published in 
1542, Luther says : " We have also taken as a good example the 
fine musica, or songs, which were used in popery at vigils, requiems, 
and burials, had some printed in this book, and in time will take 
more of them. The song and the notes are beautiful ; it were 
pity, should they perish. As in all other points they (the Catholics) 
far excel us, have the finest divine service, fine, glorious convents 

and monasteries so, too, they have in truth much splendid 

music or song, especially m the monasteries and parishes." Not- 
withstanding Luther's own clear words, it became a legend among 
German Protestants that he first introduced German hymns in the 
divine service. Many Protestants believe in this legend to the 
present day ; not a few writers continue to repeat it even now. 
Still, as early as 1784, General Superintendent Bernhart, of Stutt- 
gart, saw the folly of this claim. " How could so busy a man," 
he says, " have taken up the writing of songs, composition, and 
notes? A man who held an office at the university, published 
numerous writings, and was overwhelmed with questions, letters 
and opinions from all quarters. Luther in his first hymn-book 
(1524) made only the first hymn, which bears his name. The rest 
were composed by Sperato and some unknown writers." Schauer, 
also a Protestant, reduced the number of original hymn-texts 
written by Luther to six. The others are paraphrases of the 
Psalms, modifications of old German hymns, and translations from 
the Latin of such hymns as the Veni Sajtcte Spiritiis, the Te Deum^ 
etc. Even the most famous of all, " Eine veste Burg ist unser 

1 Osthoff, Schriftsprache und Volksmundart, pp. 4-7. 

Myths and Legends of the " Reformation^ 211 

Gott;' " A tower of strength our God doth stand," is only a para- 
phrase of the 46th Psalm. 

As a hymn composer, Luther has fared even worse than as a text 
writer. In the eighteenth century he was regarded as the writer 
of all the hymn-book melodies ; historical investigation gradually 
despoiled him of air after air, until only three melodies were left 
to his credit. But now W. Baumker has shown that there is 
good reason to doubt his authorship of even these three, and 
Baumker is endorsed by some of the best musical authorities in 
Germany. We shall content ourselves with citing the opinion of 
the non-Catholic editor of the Allgemeine Deutsche Musik-Zeitung^ 
Herr Otto Lessmann : " In addition to Luther's other great quali- 
ties, tradition has attributed to him great creative power in music ; 
but after the results of the latest Luther researches, the old 
legend of Lutheii's importance as a composer may be referred to 
the realm of inventions. Positive proof of Luther's authorship 
of a single choral melody does not exist. Even the most im- 
portant of the hymns ascribed to Luther, that song so full of 
strength and splendor, ' Eine feste Burg' {*A tower of strength 
our God doth stand'), which is said to have been written and com- 
posed by Luther at Coburg, in 1530, can hardly be regarded as 
his intellectual property — as far as the music goes, if we believe 
a manuscript note of the Reformer on one of his * Stinimbiicher! 
The author of this melody is probably Luther's friend, Cantor 
Johann Walther of Torgau. He presented to 'the dear man of 
God' a manuscript collection of sacred songs, in which exists the 

first copy of that grand melody Probably Luther's work 

as a hymm composer consisted in providing new texts for old 
Catholic church hymns and fitting some of the melodies to his 
songs. It is notorious that a series of the hymns ascribed to 
Luther existed long before the Reformation, as, e.g., the- melodies, 
' Gott sei gelobet und gebenedeiet^ ' Komm heilger Geist^ * Herre Gottl 
' Mitten wir im Leben sind,' * Gelobet seist du Jesu Christ^ and others, 
which in 'the choral books' of Kuhnau and Gebhard are set 
down as certainly written by Luther. Some melodies of Luther's 
hymn-book were borrowed by Luther without a change, in 
others the alteration from pre-Lutheran Latin hymns can be 
shown, as, e.g., the melody 'Jesus Christus wiser Heiland' is mani- 
festly taken from an old pilgrimage song, '/// Gottes Nanienfahren 
wir; which occurs in Oleari's third Hymn-Book of 1525, and as 
late as 1610 in a collection of old Catholic hymns published at 
Cologne. The melody, 'Der du bist drei in Einigkeit; is an old song, 
'0 lux beata Trinitas' and the two melodies '672m//^;;2 zvir sollen 
loben schon; and, ' Komme Gott Schopfer, heilger Getst; are adapta- 
tions of the Latin hymns, 'A solis ortus cardine' and 'Veni Sancte 

212 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

SpiritKS* The hymns ' Nun komtn def Heiden Heiland^ and * Herr 
Gott, dich loben wir! may easily be traced back to the hymns, ' Veni 
Re demptor gentium ' and ' Te Deum laudamus! "^ 

Thus has historical research dealt with the legends of Luther 
and the Reformation. In the face of these results it was natural 
that even men born and trained in the Protestant faith should 
doubt the benefits and necessity of Luther's schism. " Could not 
the Church have been reformed from within?" asks Prof. Paulsen. 
"The attempts in the fifteenth century to reform the clergy 
and the monasteries had not been as unsuccessful as is often 
asserted. Might not the abuses in church government and 
worship [Kidtus) have been put down without breaking up the 
unity of the Church ? The use of spiritual powers for secular 
purposes, probably the worst among all the evils of the Church, 
depended perhaps not so much on the nature of the institution as 
on certain transient political conditions. ... It would be foolish, 
also, to maintain that without Luther's intervention things would 
have remained as they were. Humanism would have continued 
its action ; ' barbarism ' would have been banished by * culture,' 
and * culture' would not have been the result. The historico- 
philological and mathematico-physical investigations started by 
humanism would have gone on and produced their results. The 
Church would have cherished in her bosom the new sciences as 
she had cherished the old, and all the wretched struggle against 
science, in which the Church has wasted her strength, would not 
have taken place. The peace which existed between the hierar- 
chy and science up to the outbreak of the Church revolution would 
have continued, and the historical development of man would 
have gone forward more easily and more gradually."^ 

What inference must be drawn from our study of the results of 
modern historical science? That the Church and the Papacy have 
reason to fear true scientific and impartial historical criticism and 
research ? that their safety lies in darkness and concealment ? On 
the contrary, our study leads us to infer that Leo XIII. knew 
thoroughly what he was saying when he maintained that history 
is " one of the arms most fit to defend the Church." Already 
modern historical science has tracked and run down many errors 
and fables ; already it has confuted many slanders and scattered 
much prejudice ; already it has surrounded the Church with a 
halo of glory to which even non-Catholics cannot close their 
eyes. History, profane and ecclesiastical, as we have said above, 
does not directly attack or defend the essentials or main sup- 

^ AUgJ: Deutsche Musik-Zeitung, November 9th, 1883, — Luther unci die Musik — for 
the fourth centenaiy of Luther by Otto Lessmann, quoted in Geschichtsliigen, p 353. 
^ Paulsen, Geschichte des gelehrten Unterrichts, p. 132. 

Myths and Legends of the '' Reformation r 213 

ports of the Church ; these are in the hands of theology. But his- 
tory has great power to open men's eyes and to dispel their 
prejudices. Review the roll of eminent historians that have been 
led back to the Church by their studies. Ekkard, Voigt, Hurter, 
Gfrorer, Onno Klopp, Schlosser, Bowden, the Stevensons, occur to 
our memory without effort. Bear in mind the powerful impression 
produced by Janssen's '' History of the German People," the many 
conversions reported to have been wrought by it. Nor need we 
wonder at these effects. The hate of Rome and the Church has 
always been as much the product of political defamation as 
of religious invective, of politics as of bigotry. Read the history 
of Henry VIII. and his minister, Cromwell, of Elizabeth, of Philip 
of Hesse, of Maurice of Saxony. Do they impress us as religious 
zealots, or as astute ambitious politicians ? Read the history of the 
Thirty Years' War; are Wallenstein, Richelieu, Mansfeld, Gusta- 
vus Adolphus, Oxenstierna, types of self-denying apostles, disin- 
terested missionaries, or even of religious enthusiasts ? Give us 
rather Amru and Omar; their deeds have at least a ring of 
honest, if brutal, fanaticism ; but the heroes of the Thirty Years, 
the Wallensteins and the Mansfelds, will impose on no one who 
does not wish to be deceived. And yet perhaps nothing has 
created deeper religious hate in Germany than this dreadful war. 
Before the Thirty Years' War, Canisius and his Jesuit brethren 
brought whole towns and districts back to the old faith ; before 
the war, as we have seen, though sixty years after Luther's revolt, 
the people sighed for the good old faith and the good old times ; 
after that deadly struggle there is nothing but bitterness and 
hate. Again in England, before the great Spanish Armada, two- 
thirds of all England were still Catholic ; afterwards there remain 
only scattered remnants in a few counties. Now, therefore, that 
historians are gradually feeling the dignity and lofty mission of 
their science, and see that it is one thing to be a religious or 
national pamphleteer, another to be a true votary of Clio, the much 
abused Church of Rome, as the results hitherto obtained show, 
will reap the benefits of the change. True, it will take years for the 
truth revealed by scholars to percolate down to the masses or 
even to the ordinary teachers of the masses. Many a pulpit will 
hereafter reverberate with threshed out lies ; many a godly but 
ignorant journal will continue to diffuse long refuted error. But 
even now better informed journals, more carefully compiled school- 
books, blush to sully their pages with all the antiquated trash ; they 
do honor to the truth ; they teach their readers how their fathers 
and grandfathers were fooled and gulled in many particulars. 
Even this partial acknowledgment of the truth, this partial rejection 
of oft repeated historical falsehoods, will teach their readers not to 

214 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

take on trust every silly statement, every outrageous attack on 
Rome and " Romanism." 

In face of results so useful, so favorable to the Church, histori- 
cal science has a double claim on the attention and the respect of 
Catholics. They should love and cultivate it, because, as the Holy 
Father says, it is a witness to the truth and because it is a means 
most fit to defend the Church. Much, very much, remains to be 
done in this field. Most of the work that has relieved the Church 
of her odium, and awarded to her the credit that is justly her due, 
has been done by non-Catholics. Much of it can be found only 
in learned periodicals or voluminous publications, unfit for general 
reading. If we look into the historical reading available to the 
English reading Catholic, the demand, we find, is far greater than 
the supply. Lingard's great work is the one historical classic of 
which we maybe proud. More than fifty years have passed since 
it was written ; still, only a few years ago a non-Catholic firm 
found it profitable to publish a new edition of this ten-volume 
work, finer and more attractive than any previous edition. How 
eloquent a testimony to its worth ! Brilliant writers like Macaulay 
and Froude have been found wanting ; but Lingard enjoys the 
respect of Catholic and Protestant. On Church history we have 
the translations of Darras, of Alzog, and of Brueck, and they 
have supplied a crying want. But where is the English reading 
Catholic to go for the history of France, Germany, and Italy, 
the great continental European peoples whose history is the marrow 
of modern European history, the peoples whose history has been 
especially made the weapon of attack against the Papacy and the 
Church? There is hardly a comprehensive non-Catholic English 
history of these nations, nothing but monographs and fragments. 
Catholic works, deserving the name of history, are wholly lacking. 
It is precisely this condition of things that protects and prolongs 
the life of many an effete slander. Here, then, is a glorious field 
for Catholic scholars. Let them master the last results of recent 
research, let them analyze them carefully, let them, as the 
Holy Father says, dread to state an untruth, let them not fear 
to state the truth, and they will do yeoman's service to the Church 
and to their countrymen. They will have great advantages. In 
studying the history of pre-" Reformation" times, they will look at 
them, so to say, from within. A great effort must be made by the 
most honest non-Catholic to appreciate justly those times and 
their spirit ; he is as far removed from them as England is from 
China. The Catholic, on the other hand, is much nearer to the 
Middle Ages, nearer, that is to say, to their religious and moral 
spirit. And after all, on the morality and the religion of a nation 
or an age, must its history chiefly hinge. Art has its glories, 

Myths and Legends of the " Reformation^ 215 

learning its fame, science its grandeur ; but art, and science, and 
learning without morality and religion cannot secure the prosperity 
of nations, nor stay their downfall. So the Catholic historian has 
a great advantage in dealing with pre-" Reformation " times, and 
this is often silently acknowledged by non-Catholic scholars. Let 
Catholic scholars, then, profit by these advantages. Let them fill 
up the gaps in English historical literature. Let them work in 
the spirit of Leo XIII., guided by the love of truth; filled with 
charity and moderation, let them state facts with vigor, but without 
venom; If they will thus set forth historic truth, they will reap 
the respect of all truth-lovers, Catholic and non-Catholic ; they 
will overturn many prejudices against the Church that are already 
tottering, and will contribute most effectively to defend the 

So much for Catholic historical scholars. The layman, on his 
side, once he realizes the importance of history, once he clearly 
sees how much it can do to promote the cause of truth and religion, 
and to place the Church in her proper light before his non-Catholic 
fellow-citizens, will not fail in his duty. He will himself, no doubt, 
become an earnest reader of history, and will strive to interest his 
children in this attractive and useful, we may almost say necessary, 
branch of learning. He will aid and encourage historical workers, 
not only with his purse, but, what is more important, with his ap- 
preciation. He will help them to rescue from oblivion the noble 
deeds of unsung heroes and patriots and the past glories of the 
Church. He will learn again and again the lesson that cannot be 
too often taught, that all true greatness, whether in Church or 
State, must have its foundation in morality and religion. In fine, 
he will find in history new reasons to cherish and admire his 
Mother Church, that has done so much for mankind. 

2i6 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 


THE English press has supplanted the Church of England in 
the office of final arbiter of Christian truths. The usurpa- 
tion commenced about fifty years ago. Before that time it was 
the clergy, individually, who taught themselves and their flocks 
what to believe. The flocks usually reciprocated the compliment; 
indeed, the flocks taught as much as did the clergy ; still, the system 
worked harmoniously in the sense that the mutual authority was 
at once nationally approved and put in practice. Then, as the 
power of the press began to grow, the mutual authority took the 
newspapers into partnership; so that clergy, laity and newspapers 
became the combined teaching-body which dictated what English 
Christians ought to believe. At first, it was the " religious news- 
papers " alone which interfered in the domain of dogmatic truth ; 
the editors of these newspapers imagining themselves to be 
apostles ; each one an apostle to his own party. But very soon 
the secular press came to discover that there was an immense 
deal to be made out of religion ; that a judicious admixture of 
theological leading articles with political or painfully mundane 
grooves of advocacy would be sure to increase a paper's circula- 
tion by paying court to a new circle of subscribers. Thus the 
Times, forty-five years ago, apprehending that the new "Puseyism" 
was likely to catch the national religious taste, set to work to write 
up the Oxford School and to advocate High Church doctrines 
and ritual. For many months the Times confessed itself Puseyite. 
Then came a mysterious silence on the subject. The T]:;;^^.?- feelers 
of the national pulse, gradually perceiving that the Protestant 
prejudice was in the ascendant over what was called the aesthetic 
craze, after a discreet interval of a few weeks, veered right around 
to the opposite side and boldly censured what they had so re- 
cently written up. The lesser journals took their cue from the 
great one. Just as to-day most of the newspapers are anti- Irish, 
because the Times, the leading journal, has set the fashion, so in 
those days most of the newspapers returned to Protestantism 
directly the great Jupiter had veered around. Still, all the papers 
continued to be Christian, though they turned their backs on the 
" new-fangled Popery." For twenty years there was no apology 
for freethinking. No morning, evening, weekly or monthly organ 
ever ventured to plead the cause of infidelity. Up to about the 
year 1885 there was little more than a feeling the way in such 

1 he Tendency of Ejiglish Journalism. 217 

speculations as might possibly lead to dangerous doubts, yet were 
only hazarded as the legitimate searchings after truth. 

And now comes the curious fact that it was not until the country 
had declined to be wooed by the new Ritualism, and had at the 
same time given manifest indications that it would not return to the 
Catholic Church, that English journalism began to play fast and 
loose with the new freethinking, and to publish extracts from the 
writings of clever skeptics. Here we reach a "moral" which 
should be instructive to those Englishmen who pin their faith on 
their ecclesia docens, the press. It used to be urged, fifty years 
ago, that a " free-press " and the " whole truth " would be neces- 
sarily sympathetic experiences ; that a newspaper, if untrammeled, 
would be sure to be first honest, then broadly comprehensive of 
" both sides." Protestants did not realize that a newspaper, like a 
shopkeeper, has to " dress the window " so as to attract the most 
customers ; so that if " the circulation goes down " another line 
must be taken, another style of literary wares must be offered. 
What would be obvious to any commercial man of the world was 
never suspected by the ardent votaries of a free press. They took 
it for granted that the religious advocacy must be sincere; that 
there could not possibly be intentional suppressio veri ; that the 
editor and his staff would have but one object in life, to enlighten 
their readers on all aspects of all truths. The exact opposite of 
this surmise would have been nearer the fact. The religious news- 
papers (we are speaking principally of the " Church organs") were 
simply combatants who sought to strike down their adversaries 
without one thought of charity or of truth-loving. To publish 
everything that could possibly injure an opponent, and to suppress 
everything that could possibly serve his cause, were the lofty 
maxims of the apostles at their desks. For some forty years has 
one Church-newspaper, The Rock, adopted this eminently Chris- 
tian rule of life. Few issues have been without their Roman 
Catholic scandal, few without their travesty of Catholic truths. 
And the High Church organs are conducted on the same prin- 
ciples. The grand object being to prove the superiority of Angli- 
can heresies, this is best done by misrepresenting Catholic truths. 
Here, then, we have one blessing of a " free " press. Here we 
have the development of that odd substitute for the Divine Church, 
the printed sheets of party acrimony and commercial greed. In 
secular newspapers such a development was a matter of course. 
But in religious newspapers, supposed to teach the whole of the 
truth, the grooved falsehoods might almost shock even the pro- 

It would be hard to say whether the secular or the religious 
newspapers write the niore infallibly about religion. Perhaps 

2i8 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

there is an airy assumption about the secular organs which is the 
more captivating because it is so easy. The secular organs, not 
being hampered by responsibility (they only set up to be critics, 
not to be teachers), are more sublimely impartial, more disdainful 
of doctrinal differences, than the grooved apostles of this heresy or 
of that. Thus the Daily Telegraph, when greeting Mr. Herbert 
Spencer as an advocate for the doing away with Christianity, 
called attention to the *' remarkable passages " in his arraignment, 
and then passed on to write about the theatres. As a secular 
newspaper, the Daily Telegraph would plead its innocence in 
merely quoting a score of lines from an infidel writer; the inci- 
dental circumstance that a quarter of a million readers would be 
told that the quoted passages were '* remarkable " being perhaps un- 
fortunate but journalistic. This is the way in which the secular 
newspapers do the harm, by calling attention to what would other- 
wise pass unheeded: The masses do not read Mr. Herbert Spencer ; 
so the daily newswriters, being aware that his blatant infidelity is 
the only part of his philosophy they would understand, serve it 
up on a separate dish for the incitement of their palates, because 
its pungency will act like condiments to their morals. Fifty years 
ago no newspaper would have quoted such passages, still less 
would they have been referred to as remarkable. But this is one 
of the tendencies of English journalism — to sow broadcast the 
most poisonous tares of mental evil, utterly reckless of the harm 
done to the multitude. Now, the religious newspapers go on a 
very different tack. They abhor infidelity, and sincerely; but 
they perhaps abhor the Catholic Church quite as much ; so they, 
too, publish as ** remarkable " every scandal they can get hold 
of, which can be made to tell against the Catholic religion ; while 
they commonly decline to publish its contradiction, still more to 
express regret for giving scandal. After all, there is little to 
choose between the two. But where the religious newspapers 
have the advantage of their secular rivals is in their assumption 
that because they do teach, they can teach. It is a curious dream 
of the Protestant mind — it has always been so, it must necessarily 
be so — that because some one must teach and no one knows who 
is the teacher, therefore everyone can teach who does teach. The 
religious newspapers, each and all, adopt this postulate. Each one 
claims that it can teach, for the simple reason that it does teach, 
though it will not allow that its opposing newspapers can teach at 
all. And the readers, like the writers, have their postulate. They 
take it for granted that because they approve the teaching of the 
particular organ for which they are content to pay their sixpence, 
therefore that particular organ can teach the truth ; the teacher 
being created orthodox by the taught; graduating as infallible by 

The residency of English Journalism. 2 1 9 

the "nobis examinatoribus satisfecit " which is given by admiring 
readers to their own organ. This may seem comic, but it is true. 
There are many thousands of English Protestants, devoted members 
of the EstabHshed Church, who would never permit an Anglican 
newspaper, albeit read by bishops, to lie upon their table or to 
pass their doors until they had sat in judgment on its teaching on 
every doctrine ; had given it their pontifical sanction and approval ; 
and so, " permissu superiorum," had suffered it to go forth to the 
world with the unsurpassable authority of (their) Holy See. 

Let it be asked, then : What is the tendency of religious jour- 
nalism so far as belief or unbelief may be prospered ? There are 
three distinct grooves of religious journals: (i) the High Church 
Anglican, whether Ritualist or Moderate; (2) the Low Church 
Anglican, whether middle class or rabid; (3) the Dissenting, 
whether Sectarian or Independent — though these last, somewhat 
curiously, are not numerous. Now the tendency of Ritualist 
journalists is to abstractions. They write exclusively of purely 
visionary theories. They preach the necessity of authority, but 
abuse their bishops. They urge the duty of obedience, but scold 
their teachers. They proclaim themselves the ardent apostles of 
Catholic unity, but vilify the Catholic Church — when it disagrees 
with them. Four out of five High Church newspapers take this 
line. The old-fashioned and highly respectable Guardian is alone 
content to preach serenity and acquiescence. This organ repre- 
sents "the Church of England; " not the flights and the ecstasies 
of the "Anglo-Catholics," nor the Puritanism plus the cant of the 
Low Church party, but the steady Churchmanship which has been 
the backbone of the Establishment since the days, say, of Arch- 
bishop Laud. The tendency of the Guardian^ therefore, is to " let 
alone." " Quieta non movere " is its motto. Probably it is the 
only Church of England paper which is really practical, or which 
does not seek to ruin the Establishment by dividing it. 

The Low Church organs are mere scandal-mongers. Their 
reason of being is to abuse " Popery." Their theology is sentiment, 
their controversy is bitterness, and their Protestantism is fib-telling 
about Catholics. Their tendency is to bathos or imbecility. Nor 
have they any strong party which they can serve. The old Evan- 
gelical party is dead and gone. It did immense good in its day 
by preserving the sentiment of Christianity, and with the sentiment 
a vast amount of practical piety. All that is left now of this really 
earnest party is its Puritanism without its intensity, its combative- 
ness without its quiet faith. The tendency, therefore, of the Low 
Church organs is to a feminine sentimentality without backbone 
of creed or of much educatedness. The Ritualists have deprived 
Low Churchism of its historic foundation by showing up the 

220 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

" Reformation " as a fraud. The Broad Churchmen have fairly driven 
it out of the field by expanding their own theology so as to include 
it. The scientific men have laughed it to scorn as a mere indulg- 
ence of feelings and emotions. As a. school, it has no place among 
the working powers. Many so-called Evangelicals are admirable 
Christians ; but this is from the traditions which cling to them as 
well as from a simple ignorance of Catholic truths. Their organs, 
seeming to know that their day is past, can only go on hammering 
away against Popery. 

It would not be easy for an outsider to '^ class " the periodicals 
which are announced as being the organs of the sects. Thus, why 
twelve of them should be called the " twelve non-sectarian papers," 
or why one in particular should be entitled "Nonconformity;" 
why the Primitive Methodists should have only one organ, while 
the Wesleyans enjoy the privilege of two ; or why the Baptists 
should require two organs to express their views, seeing that they 
differ so little from the Methodists; or why the Society of Friends 
should need two organs — unless it be for the advertisement of their 
good works — are all riddles which an outsider cannot guess, and 
which, probably, "proprietors " alone can fully solve. Some of 
these papers are well toned ; they are amiable, philanthropic, and 
not sectarian ; they are only accidentally of narrow compass, their 
spirit being generous and sympathetic. Dissent, being a plant of 
English growth, is at home in the little province of its enterprise. 
Not one dissenter in a hundred bears malice towards the sects 
which, for some caprice, are differently named to his own. Dissent 
is more magnanimous than is Low Churchism ; certainly more so 
than is Ritualism or High Churchism. Nor are its organs, as a 
rule, nearly so bitter; though, in Scotland, the Presbyterians (who 
would be shocked if we called them dissenters) are normally bitter 
against Catholics and against Episcopalians. 

But if it be asked, is the general tendency of religious journal- 
ism towards union with or separation from the Catholic Church? 
the answer is that the majority of the journalists are anxious that 
the Catholic Church should submit to them, but that they have not 
the remotest idea of submitting to the Catholic Church. 

Indeed, there is no more desire for Catholic unity indicated by 
writers for the religious journals than there is by the writers for 
the secular journals. A glance at the five hundred and eighty- 
three daily papers of the United Kingdom, were anyone disposed 
to run them through, would probably disclose a common indiffer- 
ence to every form of schism or heresy, such as might best be 
expressed by the word " Liberal." Religious Liberalism, with the 
journalists, means indifferentism. It sounds much better to say 
that you are tolerant of others' views than that you are without 

The Tendency of English Journalism. 



any fixed views of your own ; yet the word Liberal means in re- 
ligion, " it does not matter;" and this is the religious Liberalism 
of English newspapers. The secular journals affect a superb mag- 
nanimity when they plead for "equality of rights all round ;" pu*t- 
ting themselves in an attitude of superiority to all contentions, as 
though their minds were too colossal to stoop to details. Indeed, 
there is no subject on which the journalists are so didactic as in 
exhorting to the supreme duty of profound indifference. Were it 
possible that, in their superiority, they could grow angry, they 

would lash the wicked men who believe in religious dogma, on 

the necessity of having a creed and of sticking to it, with a se- 
verity that would be simply awful for them to read, and which 
would make them feel themselves to be criminals of deepest dye. 
They can forgive almost every fault except dogmatism. We all 
know that the unpardonable sin of the Catholic Church is in teach- 
ing that there can be only one Christianity ; but the unpardonable 
sin of Protestants — in the estimation of their journalists — is in 
the not admitting that all religions are equally good. Now, the 
journalists are so superior to common people that there is no fear 
of their tumbling (in type) into this sin. They might do it in pri- 
vate life ; but professionally they are impeccable, so far as to never 
appear to believe in anything. They write of Christianity in the 
abstract as a most respectable and time-honored tradition ; which, 
though possibly it may be only a beautiful superstition, is en- 
titled to historic credit as an old friend. When, however, Protes- 
tants affirm that there must be dogma, the journalists say, " No, 
here you exceed your liberties. We permit you to believe in the 
fact of a redemption ; but when you insist on Christian dogma we 
must rebuke you ; for this is to be illiberal, and, therefore, wicked." 
Religious Liberalism — supposing it were possible to define it — 
is the right of not believing what any authority declares to be true ; 
and this on the ground that no authority can exist, save only by 
the individual approval. (We are speaking, of course, solely of 
Christian authority.) So that the journalists, after all, are con- 
sistent in their measure when they preach against the insisting on 
dogma, since dogma without authority would no more be possible 
than would obedience without somebody to command. But the 
journalists go a big step further than this ; for they preach that 
there ought not to be authority ; that it is a positive blessing to be 
without the necessity of believing anything ; that the joy of life is 
in the intellectual rambling through the possibles, with no goal but 
the possible arriving at the slightly probable. This postulate being 
granted, religious liberalism can have no difficulty in passing on to 
formulate certain principles; and these are: (i) nobody knows 
anything for certain ; (2) therefore, common sense teaches respect 

222 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

for religious ignorance. And so the journalists might define their 
religious liberalism in this way : *' a quiet contempt for one's own 
convictions, because one must have a quiet contempt for other peo- 
ple's ;" the corollary being " a quiet respect for the quiet contempt 
with which everybody must regard our convictions and their own." 
Now, when we return from this digression to the inquiry which 
we made just now, " Is the general tendency of religious journal- 
ism towards union with, or separation from, the Catholic Church ?" 
we see at once that all union is out of the question where there is 
nothing certain about which two people can be united. And so, 
as a matter of fact, our five hundred and sixty-three daily papers 
seldom speak of the reunion of Christendom save as they would 
speak of the pleasant amenities of a social party; of that harmony 
of good breeding and good fellowship which makes life so much 
more agreeable, and perhaps more virtuous. A union on all points 
of the Christian faith is not desired, because it presupposes au- 
thority; and authority, in matters of faith, is thought to be as 
little desirable as, in matters of the State or household, it is thought 
requisite. Here, then, we have a direct tendency to continued 
schism. English journalism gives no sign of desiring to heal 
English divisions, because it treats those very divisions as not dis- 

Is there any connection between the secular teaching of English 
journals and the religious ideas or impressions of English people ; 
or does the tone or spirit of secular teaching at all affect, indirectly, 
the prospects of religion throughout the country ? If we assume 
that there are four grooves in chief in popular journalism, — the 
political, the social, the literary, and the religious, — can these 
grooves at all react on one another ? Undoubtedly they do. Poli- 
tics affect religion in its action, in the enjoyment or the restriction 
of its liberties. At the present moment in England the only point 
where politics come into actual collision with religion is in the 
School Board principle of excluding religious teaching from the 
daily life and schooling of young people. It is not necessary here 
to say more on this point than that the Catholic hierarchy are con- 
tending bravely against such paganism. Some of the journals 
are following the counsel of Cardinal Manning, and are being 
taught by him what is true Liberalism, what is false. 

But to speak, next, of the social groove : Can its treatment by the 
journalists at all affect the national religious creed ? Only, of course, 
in the degree of the respect which it shows to what are called ethical 
principles. Now, here we may be reminded that the institution, 
" society journals," must have a tendency to enfeeble social ethics. 
At least, many Catholic writers have seemed to think so. Perhaps, 
however, this is an exaggerated estimate. It may be hazarded 

The Tendency of English Journalism. 223 

that their influence is superficial. Since they spring only out of 
the lightest vanities of the social life, they minister only to that 
feeble class of persons who take delight in fashionable small-talk 
or in scandals. Besides, at least, thev make people timorous of 
being " pilloried," and so exercise a certain salutary restraint. 
They are rather weak, perhaps, than vicious in their object They 
simply proceed on the principle that, of the three levers which 
move society — popularly said to be vanity, love, interest — the most 
money is to be made out of appeals to vanity. That they are 
shamelessly personal is, at once, their greatest fault and their most 
powerful attraction to their readers. Indeed, the breadth of their 
personalities is their real offence. It is quite a new offence in 
" respectable " journalism. Twenty years ago a " fashionable 
column" in the Morning Post was all the pabulum which Vanity 
Fair could find to feed upon. Now, we have hundreds of columns 
every week, in some couple of dozen so-called society papers, 
which are intended to inform '^ the people " of what the " upper 
ten thousand " do, and to introduce them (in print only) to their 
drawing-rooms. Yet the tendency of such journalism is rather to 
excite curiosity than to do harm by lifting the veil from private 
lives. Bad taste, bad form, would be the severest imputation which 
such very morbid journalism could be said to merit. In the very 
feet that they tell us that they intend to be personal — that they 
exist only to gossip of persons who are " in society," — we are fore- 
warned of the thin ice they are about to tread upon ; and we know 
that actions for libel dog their steps. So that the danger is, per- 
haps, more to themselves than to their readers. Besides, they can-^ 
not be said to be more personal than are the newspapers. And, 
unquestionably, there is more harm done by personal writing in 
the newspapers than there is by personal writing in the " society 
papers." In the newspapers we are not forewarned of the pro- 
fessed purpose. We take up a morning paper, and find that a 
man's honesty has been grossly assailed in a leading article; and 
this, too, on the sole ground that his politics happen to be unpal- 
atable to the editor (or the proprietor) of the " organ." (We must 
speak of this scandal in connection with social ethics, because it is 
common to most classes of English papers.) Thus, Mr. Glad- 
stone is spoken of by a Tory journal as a man who is *'too ob- 
viously without even a shred of sincerity in his character." The 
Irish members of Parliament are dismissed by a titled Tory as 
*' men who accept money to ruin their country." Mr. Parnell is 
accused of writing shameless letters — of which the origin is as- 
tutely hid by the Times newspaper— and the Tory party acquiesce 
in this facile method of throwing mud, without inquiring even 
"what is the authority?" In some of the religious papers per- 

224 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

sonalities are equally common. A Protestant bishop is spoken of 
by a Ritualist journal as "a mere Dissenter who likes to stick to 
the loaves and fishes;" while converts to the Catholic Church have 
been pronounced by one censor as " men of weak intellect or 
weaker character." Thus personalities are used as perfectly legiti- 
mate weapons, even to the extent of trying to ruin men's charac- 
ters. It is true that nothing so disgraceful as the libels on Mr. 
Parnell has been known in the " respectable " journalism of the 
last fifty years ; but the spirit of the attack is common to most 
newspapers, which hope to prosper their tactics by personalities. 
Now, this tendency is growing in force from year to year. It 
would be platitude to speak of its vileness or its meanness. 

Let us refer to another tendency, equally contemptible with per- 
sonalities, and born of the same malice of partisanship. The sup- 
pression of truth, with the false " reporting " of opponents, is quite 
a recognized institution in party journalism. (We find this vice 
rampant in all the four grooves of journalism — the political, the 
social, the literary, and the religious.) One or two ordinary ex- 
amples may be given. Thus, if a Home Ruler makes a speech, 
it is cut short by hostile journals so as to thin its force or make it 
quite pointless. If a thousand facts in Ireland all tend in one 
direction, but one fact seems to tend in another, then the thousand 
facts are ignored, but the one fact is made the subject of a highly 
ethical and didactic leading article. If the Pope issues an Ency- 
clical against heresies, not a word of it is quoted in an English 
journal; but, if he writes to the Irish bishops to condemn excep- 
ttional tactics, there is not a newspaper that does not claim him for 
its authority. A hundred such examples might be enumerated. 
Thus, Suppression and Personalities are the two favorite weapons 
of what are called party-organs in Church and State. 

As to literature — which we referred to as a fourth groove in the 
popular press — new books are reviewed by most journalists in pre- 
cisely the same spirit of partisanship. Each organ notices the 
books of its own party, but either ignores or makes light of its 
opponents'. This is as true of the *' Church " organs as of the 
secular ones. Thus, reviewing is made to indirectly affect religion, 
by misrepresenting approved authors. Put together, then, the 
three grooves of the secular journals — the political, the social, and 
the literary — and it is obvious that, either directly or indirectly, 
the tendency must be injurious to the fourth groove, which is re- 
ligion treated only diplomatically. 

This whole subject of " party organs " is so difficult, if viewed 
ethically, that it would need the wisdom of the Holy See to give 
judgment on it. No one denies that a party organ must be one- 
sided. It would have no reason of being if it were not so. But, 


The Tendency of English Journalism. 225 

need a party organ be both unjust and ungenerous? English 
journalism is now worked on this principle: That to prove his 
case, at all cost, is the duty of the journalist; not\.Q prove what is 
true, what is just. " We do not want the truth," the writer of a 
leader seems to say ; " what we want is to prove ourselves right." 
Exactly as a counsel in a court of justice says all that can possibly 
be said for his own side, and all that can possibly be said against 
the other side ; so, a writer of a leading article ignores every con- 
sideration but such as may make his view seem the right one. 
But, in a court of justice, the jury hear both sides. In a news- 
paper the readers read only one side. And, since nine men out of 
ten read only their party organs, they never get to know anything 
of the other side. Here, then, is a tendency which is positively 
corrupting — to men who have not the strength of mind to read 
both sides. They who have lived much in the editorial atmosphere 
— and writers of leading articles have this experience — know that 
any offence is pardonable save the " stultifying" of a newspaper by 
making it unsay what it said the day before. If a wagon-load of 
evidence were to arrive at an editor's door, proving his statements 
on the previous day to be all fibs, he would simply comment on 
the wagon-load as " angry protests against our statements, which 
are obviously biassed by a strong party feeling." He has, of course, 
no party feeling. And behind his back stands the proprietor of 
the newspaper, who is inquiring about the " increase in the circu- 
lation," and who would rather his editor made a hundred slips in 
grammar than that he should " stultify the paper " by one apology. 
Papers are published, first, to make money. Editors have to labor, 
first, to please proprietors. The staff have to write, first, to '* pre- 
serve the unities of the organ," which, in plain truth, means to 
shape conscience to diplomacy. The best contributor is he who 
attracts the most customers. A free press means the right of 
attracting customers. Take away the merchandise out of news- ^ 
papers, and how much would be left of pure motive ? 

In these days not one paper in twenty can manage to pay its 
way without advertisements. But the advertisements depend 
largely on the circulation, so that, to secure the prop of the paper, 
the first object of the proprietor must be to secure the popularity 
of his advocacy. Now, human nature must be supposed to m- 
fluence even proprietors. It is not every man who will throw away 
a thousand a year for the lofty pleasure of perfectly satisfying his 
own conscience. Merchandise is, after all, but a game of chess, in 
which the pawns, which are called '^ our principles," are meant to 
cover the big pieces, which are (speaking proprietorily) the profits. 
And since a free press was established, the poor pawns have been 
pushed forward with a splendid pretence of being the. important 
VOL. XIV. — 15 

226 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

pieces on the board, while, alas, the bishops and knights, the 
castles, kings and queens, have been the humble instruments of 
the " balance " to the proprietors. The few papers which have 
been edited solely for truth's sake have almost invariably come to 
grief. Such has been the irony of a "free" press. Nor is it wholly the 
fault of the proprietors. Readers of newspapers insist on having 
what they want, and, if they get what they do not want, they write 
to the manager: " Sir, please cease to send me your paper." So 
that readers make the papers what they are. The tendency of 
English journalists is to gross unfairness, because the tendency of 
English readers is to gross prejudice. 

But apart from such general characteristics, which are common, 
more or less, to all journalism, let it be asked, what are the present 
tendencies of English newspapers, in the way of advocacy of one 
extreme or another ? Politically, the tendency is to a hard Tory- 
ism, out of a fear of the extreme sects of revolutionists. Since 
Radicalism and Socialism grew rampant, Toryism has grown harder 
and more cruel. The present spirit of English journals, in regard 
to Ireland, is an illustration of the reaction to wilful hardness. Not 
only are all the morning papers save one, and all the evening pa- 
pers save two, devoted to what is understood by " Balfourism," 
but even the Sunday papers — supposed to be written for " the 
people " — are, with one exception, anti-Irish. The " weeklies " 
are all set in the same direction, with only two conspicuous excep- 
tions. The bitterness of English journalism against the fighters 
for Irish liberties has had no parallel since the days of " No 
Popery." Here, then, is a tendency to partisanship which has no 
redeeming feature of natural kindness, nor the faintest instinct of 
justice to other peoples. Ignorance may be a good plea for the 
multitude; but the upper and the middle classes set their teeth 
against the Irish, wholly forgetful of the awful past of Irish wrongs, 
and wholly insensible to the natural duty of reparation. The news- 
papers take this side, with the majority, because their interests, for 
the moment, seem to suggest it, and because they fear that they 
will be suspected of Radical leanings if they venture to write hon- 
estly about Ireland. English journalism is unjust to the Irish, 
because it is afraid of English prejudice and susceptibility. 

So that, politically, the tendency of English journalism is to 
resist the waves of democracy by being more Tory. This might 
be all very well if it were not an apparent probability that the " one 
man one vote " principle will be soon adopted. But it must seem 
unwise to try to irritate those classes which, before long, will have 
increased political power, instead of magnanimously and chival- 
rously doing justice, so as tojtake the ''reason of being" out of revo- j 
lution. And we may see another example of this stolid Toryism 


The Teiidency of English Journalism. 


in the attitude of the press towards the House of Lords. Nothincr 
could be more lamentable, politically, than the obliteration of a 
" second, revising chamber." Yet all the world recognizes that 
the legislative unfitness of at least three-quarters of the House of 
Peers is so manifest that custom alone could let it stand. Now the 
press will not attack this (known) anomaly, for fear of being sus- 
pected of being Radical. The exactly opposite course would be 
less Radical. For, if now, in times of peace, the Upper House 
could be reconstituted, there would be no fear of its being pulled 
down in times of trouble ; whereas, should we have our revolu- 
tion, the House of Lords would " go first," and the Throne would 
be not unlikely to follow it. Here, then, is another example of the 
tendency of English journalism to oppose Radicalism by a fictitious 
warmth of Toryism. Ireland and the House of Lords are two 
very good examples of this tendency to immobility or stolidity. 

As to religion, what has been said might suffice, save that it is 
desirable to notice more particularly the interest which some jour- 
nalists take in skepticism. A glance at the British magazines, 
periodicals and reviews, numbering about twelve hundred and 
twenty, and also at the London weekly or interval papers, num- 
bering about three hundred and ninety, discloses a spirit of interest 
in skepticism which is much stronger than that of repugnance to 
unbelief Some of the scientific papers profess atheism. Most of 
them look down upon Christian dogma. Some few are emphatic 
in proclaiming their theism; but the belief is often qualified by 
" natural religion." There is no scientific paper which affects to 
connect its science with the profession of belief in the Church of 
England, perhaps for the simple reason that no scientist, no lo- 
gician, could connect certain truth with private sentiment. A belief 
m Christianity is one thing, but a belief in the Church of England 
is another. All that we find in such scientific papers as profess re- 
ligion is the assertion that creation manifestly points to a Creator; 
not, as St. Thomas shows, that the philosophy of Catholicity is in 
harmony with the whole suggestion of the universe. But what is 
the general tendency of science papers ? Is it towards faith or un- 
belief ? Towards faith, inferentially, yet chiefly towards natural 
religion. As to the bulk of the interval papers — weekly, monthly, 
or quarterly — they mostly ignore religion altogether. Nor can we, 
reasonably, expect that, say, the class periodicals, numbering eight 
hundred and forty-five, should combine a subject which is outside 
their province with the interests of exceptional trades. Indeed, it 
is better that they should leave it alone. They do not pretend, 
like the " popular " papers, to know everything. Our point is that 
the daily papers — and not a few of the weeklies — treat religion as 
they treat politics or sociology, except that their enthusiasm about 
the latter is not extended to their discussions about the former. 

228 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

^*The number of people who take the trouble to think for them- 
selves is very small indeed," as Mr. Puff says, in Sheridan's comedy 
of " The Critic "; so the journalists have to take the trouble to think 
for them, and the operation is commonly performed in this way — 
at least, on the part of the " religious journals" : ^' I want you," 
says the editor of such a journal to one of his staff, " to write me 
an article on Ritualism. Be careful to steer clear of committing 
the paper to any approval of Ritualist practices ; yet, at the same 
time, do not say a word in discouragement of the party, because a 
number of our subscribers are Ritualists. You might throw in 
some platitudes about the hard-working Ritualist clergy, their un- 
deniable zeal, and all that sort of thing ; but you had better also 
express a general regret that they do not more consult their con- 
gregations as to the acceptability of new doctrines or practices. 
You see the line ? The fact is, we went a little too far in our some- 
what hurriedly-written leader of last week, and I have been deluged 
with correspondence in consequence. Observe the juste milieu. 
Don't commit us." 

And the readers are mostly satisfied with the " admirable pru- 
dence and moderate counsel " which the leader of the following week 
puts before them. 

So that we might sum up the whole tendency of English jour- 
nalism — in its relations to what may be called religious views — as 
the suggesting to readers that they should suggest to their jour- 
nalists the sort of teaching they want to have suggested back again. 
Reciprocity is the amiable idea; but the readers must begin first, 
or the journalists cannot insist earnestly — with an air of authority 
— that the readers should believe what they want to believe. Then, 
when the journalist proceeds to lay down the law, the readers are 
delighted with his sagacity, not considering that he has been in- 
structed to write what he does write, because it is exactly what 
the readers want to have. A mutual complimentary society is 
what is really established by the proprietor, the staff, and the 
readers. It is a harmonious and a successful arrangement. Still, 
regarded from a supernatural point of view, it is lacking in some 
essentials of infallibility. 

As to the future, a multiplication of such advocacies is all that 
we have reason to expect. Meanwhile, Catholic newspapers are 
on the increase. What is wanted is a Catholic daily paper, and 
also a Catholic quarterly review. It is certainly high time that 
English Catholics had a quarterly review of their own. Three years 
ago a private gentleman tried to start one, but he met with ob- 
stacles which tempered his enthusiasm. In the same spirit, ten 
years ago, a private gentleman tried to start a London Catholic 
daily paper, but only half of the necessary funds could be guaran- 

A New Biographer of otir Loi^d. 229 

teed. It is lamentable that political bias is so strong among English 
Catholics that the Irish question alone fatally divides them. A 
daily paper, which should advocate Irish liberties, would not be 
patronized by a large section of English Catholics. 

On religion alone would English Catholics be united; and it is 
just exactly on that one subject that no existing daily paper ever 
sounds the true note of Catholicity, or even affects to feel so much 
as scholarly interest. 


UNDER the enticing title, "The Boyhood of Christ,"^ appears 
one of the handsomest and best printed and illustrated books, 
perhaps, ever seen in this country. Not large in size — it consists only 
of loi pages — but magnificently gotten up, and accompanied with 
thirteen exquisite plates, most of them splendid copies from paint- 
ings by the great masters, the book has been intended — so at least 
it appears — to serve as a holiday present of the most attractive 
character, and reach, if it were possible, every Christian home, 
not only in this land, but in every other where the English lan- 
guage is understood or spoken. What Christian mother, in coming 
across a book of this character, on such a sweet and interesting 
subject, suggestive of the tenderest as well as most poetical feel- 
ings of the heart, and so beautiful and artistic in its external form, 
would not be at once inclined to give to it a prominent position 
among the choicest ornaments of her parlor ? And what man, or 
woman, whether single or married, whether advanced in age or 
still in the prime of life, who admires what is beautiful and feels 
towards a child, even if that child is not our Divine Lord, that 
profound reverence, as well as sympathy, which innocence and 
purity inspire at all times and force themselves into our hearts, 
could resist the temptation of bringing to his wife, or to a beloved 
mother, or daughter, or sister, such an interesting and refined 
present as the book now referred to might apparently constitute ? 
And then, if it should happen for the looker-on to turn the title 
page and read the dedication, " To the soul of my mother," who 

1 The Boyhood of Christ, by Lew Wallace, author of Ben Hur and The Fair God, 

230 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

could resist the temptation of taking with him the book and 
anticipating a noble, elevating and purifying enjoyment? 

True it is that at once something in the title page itself might 
be found capable, if not of chilling the blood of the reader, even if 
he is not in any way pious, at least of causing him to desire that 
such a thing would have been omitted. Why did the author of 
" The Boyhood of Christ " add to his name that he was also the 
author of *' Ben Plur" and "The Fair God"? Did he intend to 
forewarn that he was a writer of fiction and that *^ The Boyhood of 
Christ " was to be written also under the rules pertaining to com- 
positions of that kind, and with no other sentiment than the one 
inspiring a more or less sensational novel ? Could he have for- 
gotten so completely the well-admitted maxim, proclaimed even 
by heathens, that " holy things must be treated holily," — Sa7tcta 
sancte tractanda ? 

Mr. Wallace's heart made him feel the necessity to explain to 
the public why he had written this book. People would ask, or 
wonder, he says, why he, who is " neither minister of the Gospel, 
nor theologian, nor churchman," had " presumed " to give this 
work to the public. " It pleases him," he says, " to answer respect- 
fully " that he did so " to fix an impression distinctly in his mind." 
And this impression was that "the Jesus Christ in whom he 
believes was, in all the stages of his age, a human being," and 
that *' his divinity was the Spirit within him, and the Spirit was 

Whatever might be said of this reason and of its soundness both 
theologically and philosophically, it must be taken for granted that 
for the author at least it is satisfactory. It is not, besides, in any 
form or manner, the subject of our inquiry. 

The plan of the book is certainly calculated to inspire interest. 
An old man, Uncle Midas, who had seen the world, and been a 
lawyer and a soldier, an author and a traveller, and had dabbled 
in art, diplomacy and politics, — exceedingly refined in his manners, 
— who had visited Turkey and Palestine, and had, after reaching 
his sixty-fifth year, retired to live with ease and comfort, sur- 
rounded by his books and his mementoes, is visited a Christmas 
eve by some young people, who rather like to hear him talking 
than abandoning themselves to the pleasures of dancing, and sug- 
gest as an appropriate subject of the conference the boyhood of 

Uncle Midas had his library, where the conversation passed, 
near a greenhouse where he treasured with care a palm tree which 
the monks of Mar Saabe had given him, a vine which he had 
brought from a garden near the walls of Jerusalem, and an oak 
from Mamre. Flowers suggested to him only their transient 

A New Biographer of our Lord. 23 1 

glory and beauty. But these mementoes and his books helped 
him to keep his mind well balanced and contented. 

Nan and Puss are two girls, just verging on womanhood, who 
delight in listening to the old man, and desert the ball-room to 
come to his study. " We have come to hear you talk," says one 
of them, with the charming but somewhat abrupt frankness natu- 
ral to her age. And while the strains of the music occasionally 
reach the room, as if recalling them, although in vain, to the 
pleasures which they have foregone for the moment, the subject of 
the boyhood of Christ is suggested by them. 

" It is so hard," says Puss, " to think of our Lord as a boy. 
I mean to say," she adds, "to think of Him running, jumping, 
playing marbles, flying kites, spinning tops and going about all 
day on mischiefs, such as throwing stones and robbing birds' 

And to this the old man whom the subject suggested gives 
pleasure, answers with a grave smile : ^' Rest, you little friend, if 
the Nazarene lads of his day had tops, marbles and kites, — I am 
not sure they had, — I would prefer to believe he found enjoyment 
in them." 

Shortly afterwards a lad, named John, came to join the listeners ; 
and later on some other people, of about the same age, also 
escaped from the dancing-hall and swelled the attentive audience. 

All of this seems, no doubt, exceedingly interesting. An old 
man, on Christmas eve, talking of the Child Jesus to children who 
are anxious to know all about the boyhood of the Redeemer, cer- 
tainly affords a subject for a most charming composition, whether 
literary or in painting. Purity, sanctity, innocence, beauty in its 
most sympathetic and charming form, had necessarily to be the 
canvas or the background upon which Uncle Midas was called 
to put, as if it were in contact, the Child who was God with the 
children born of men, who were anxious to know Him. What a 
great opportunity for the elevation of minds, for the infusion of 
religious feelings, for promoting attachment to divine things, for 
rendering the Church and her teachings amiable and interesting! 

But, alas, how distant Mr. Wallace has been from attaining 
these results ! 

This book, besides being disappointing to the last extreme, is a 
living and perpetual contradiction of its own purposes and ideas. 
It was conceived, as the author says, to fix distinctly in his mind 
that our Lord was, in all the stages of His life, a human being— 
and when Puss says to Uncle Midas that it is hard for her to think 
of our Lord as a boy, as if He had been like the other boys, sons 
of men, he said, as we have seen, that he would prefer to believe 

232 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

that the Child Jesus found enjoyment in the juvenile amusements 
and plays of all times and places. 

As Puss, astonished, as it seems, by the idea suggested by the 
old man, exclaimed almost with reproach, " Oh, Uncle Midas ! '' 
as meaning, how is it possible that a man of his good sense and 
judgment could set forth such a strange proposition, Uncle Midas 
became serious; his "smile vanished," and he answers the girl: 
" I see that you are going the way of the many ; by and by you 
will not be able to think of our Lord as a man ! " 

And nevertheless, when all the pages are read, when the talk 
of Uncle Midas is finished — when the whole story is told — the 
conclusion which is reached is the absolute and complete denial 
of the idea that apparently pervades the book, and seemed to be 
paramount in Uncle Midas's mind. The conclusion is that " Christ 
had no boyhood at all." The book ends by a request, on the part 
of Uncle Midas, to be pardoned by his audience for his attempt 
to convince them; that, in fact, our Lord was never a boy. 

And, indeed, such pardon is necessary, not only for the strange 
inconsistency between the premises and the conclusion based upon 
them, but for the spirit of disguised, although, perhaps, uninten- 
tional, irreverence which shows itself through the narrative. 

Uncle Midas speaks of his attachment to Christ because of His 
human nature. God is so far beyond his comprehension that he 
gives up in despair. But for Christ, how different his feelings are. 
He is His friend. His brother; Uncle Midas could have borne to 
look into His face. He could have even laid his head fearlessly 
upon His breast. And as he finds it amazing that the " childhood 
of such a man should be so beggarly of authentic incident," he 
entertains his audience, and answers to their questions, by reading 
from a book which he keeps in his library simply as a monument 
of the capability to believe even absurd things which in his judg- 
ment exists in man. This book, which he alleges to be the only 
one on the subject, though there is another, he says, not worthy 
to be mentioned, for its extreme inferiority, is the one which he 
calls "The First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ," and 
which he hastens to say that he dislikes because the stories that 
it tells " detract from the exceeding holiness of the personages 
of whom they are told," and because they are "trifling and 

But as the children crowded around him are anxious to hear 
what is said in that book, Uncle Midas selects carefully what he 
can find in it more readily admitting of stern criticism, and even 
caricature, and tries to impress upon the minds of his listeners the 
wrong idea that the pious author of the "Book of the Miracles of 
our Saviour, and Lord, and Teacher, Jesus Christ, which is called 

A New Biographer of our Lord, 233 

the Gospel of the Infancy," as the work is really named, represents 
the Holy Family as seeking for entertainments, being given pres- 
ents, and our Blessed Lady as a " showwoman of the miracu- 
lous powers of her Son," whom " she exhibits in the towns along 
the way " during her pilgrimage to Egypt. 

The circumstance must perhaps be noticed, that in reaching this 
point, and when, indeed, the real subject of the boyhood of our 
Lord, wdth which the book is intended to deal, begins to be dis- 
cussed, no less than 73 pages out of the loi which the whole work 
contains have been already filled with preliminary remarks and a 
mise en scene. 

The tales of devils cast out only by the contact with linen 
belonging to the infant Saviour, which His blessed Mother had 
washed and hung somewhere to be dried ; and the story of the 
robbers whom the legend says the holy travelers met after they 
reached Egypt; and that of the idols which fell down with a 
crash at the simple approach of the Child-God to the magnificent 
temples where they were worshipped ; and that of St. Joseph being 
a bad carpenter, and that our Lord often came to his assistance, 
to correct his errors in his measurements, or straighten properly 
what he had done crookedly or imperfectly, are all picked up and 
related isolatedly, deprived of the charms of the oriental poetry 
with which they were adorned, and, more than this, stripped wholly 
of the pious and reverent spirit with which they were written and 
have been preserved for centuries, not only in the eastern countries, 
but everywhere else — Uncle Midas's intention having been, appa- 
rently, to draw from his listeners emphatic exclamations of sur- 
prise and even of disgust, and, perhaps, scandal, as if something 
blasphemous, or utterly shocking in some other respect, had 
been uttered in their presence. 

What a great injustice, however, he did to this book, and to 
the various others which he did not mention, or did not know of, 
which relate to this subject ! 

The " Gospel of the Infancy," copies of which in manuscript, in 
Arabic, and in Syriac, are preserved in the library of the Vatican at 
Rome and in the National Library at Paris, and which has been 
printed in the two languages aforesaid, and in most, if not all, the 
modern languages, was originally believed, by the people among 
whom it appeared, to have been written by St. Peter, upon material 
furnished him by the Blessed Virgin. Probably in its present form 
it was made up by some Nestorian writer ; which accoun-ts, among 
other things, for the great favor that it always enjoyed among the 
followers of Nestorianism. It was natural that the believers, not 
only in the two natures of our Lord and Saviour, but in the exist- 
ence in Him of two persons, distinctly different, one from the other. 

234 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

would have tried to treasure as many traditions as they could find 
among the people, which related directly to the childhood of 
Christ. Its popularity, especially in Egypt, where most of the 
facts that it narrates took place, has been maintained for centuries 
perfectly unabated. It has still great credit among the Copts, who 
possess, in addition to this book, a great number of others, dwelling 
upon the same subject, one of which is a " History of the Flight 
into Egypt," falsely attributed to Theophilus of Alexandria. 

The works above cited, and the " History of Joseph the Car- 
penter," the " Protoevangelion of James the Less," the " Gospel of 
Thomas the Israelite, on the things done by the Lord when still 
an Infant," the " Gospel of the Nativity of Saint Mary," the " Gos- 
pel of the Nativity of Mary, and of the Infancy of the Saviour," 
and several others, are certainly interesting monuments, which 
irrefutably testify to the movements of the human mind at a period 
of history exceedingly worthy of attention. They are not monu- 
ments, as Uncle Midas thought, of that kind of imbecile, indis- 
criminate aptness to believe all things, no matter how absurd, 
which he ascribes to mankind ; but monuments of literature, as well 
as of pious and religious feeling, wherein the charms of poetry 
have been lavishly poured down, and wherein the purest intention 
and good faith had been displayed at all parts. 

In these legends of the Evangelic times, always shining with 
candor and good intention, where traditions dear to the people 
have been carefully preserved, the soul and life of the Christian 
society of the day are to be found portrayed. They were destined 
for the family circle, to be narrated at home, under the tent, at the 
foot of the palm-trees, where the caravan halted ; and a good picture 
of the popular customs of the primitive Church is preserved by them. 
They were the popular poems of the first neophytes of the new 
worship ; and faith and imagination vied with each other to render 
them interesting and beautiful. The Church, in her wisdom, has 
not admitted them as canonical, but recognized, with reason, that 
they lack authenticity ; but her action has stopped at this point, no 
doctrine against the faith having been found in them. Their in- 
fluence, on the other hand, has been extraordinary, because for 
many centuries they have contributed powerfully and directly to 
the development of poetry and the fine arts. The epic and dra- 
matic art of the Middle Ages, as well as painting and sculpture, 
have largely drawn from these legends. Christian art owes to 
them its origin ; and as Balmez has justly remarked, *' In whatever 
manner we may judge of them, and even if we attempt to alto- 
gether set them aside as mere illusions, the fact remains that they 
are harmless, and have contributed immensely to the glories of 
art, the cultivation of sentiment, and the civilization of the world." 

A Nciv Biographer of our Lord, 235 

It would have been, no doubt, better for Uncle Midas to entertain 
his innocent, attentive listeners with stories like the ones still told 
to the travelers in Egypt, about the miracles and innocent deport- 
ment of the Child-God, than to plant into their souls, prematurely, 
the spirit of doubt and adverse criticism, if not a kind of Puritanic 
horror of any mild form or expression of human nature. 

People who have visited Cairo, or occupied themselves with 
these subjects, remember a small stream of fresh, delicious water 
which flows in the vicinity of that city, and is bordered with fra- 
grant balm shrubs. The water elsewhere in that territory is salty 
and bitter. The shrubs cannot thrive except on the particular 
spot which the privileged stream can wash. In answer to any 
questions about the reasons of this striking fact, they will explain to 
you the same now as many centuries ago, that Mary washed at that 
spring the clothing of her Divine Son, that the water became then 
purified and wholesome, and that wherever a drop of it fell upon 
the ground a balm-tree sprang up at once, fragrant and luxurious. 

They will tell you, also, with that richness of imagination that 
is characteristic of eastern people, why a branch of the palm-tree 
has been chosen, as if by common consent of the human race, to 
symbolize triumph or victory. In a fatiguing journey through the 
desert, a palm-tree having been seen at a distance, Mary suggested 
to Joseph, " Let us repose a little under its shade " ; and Mary, 
having sat down, cast a glance at the top of the palm-tree, and saw 
that it was loaded with fruits ; and she said to Joseph, " My wish 
should be, if possible, to have one of those fruits." And then the 
child, Jesus, who was in the arms of the Virgin Mary, said to the 
palm-tree : " Tree, bend down thy crown, and give my mother thy 
fruits." And then, at His voice, the palm-tree inclined its head 
until it touched the feet of Mary ; and Mary collected as much of 

the fruit as she wanted And Jesus said (on the following 

day) : " I say to thee, palm-tree, .... and I grant thee as a 
blessing, that of all who shall conquer in the battles of faith, it 
shall be said forever, * You have obtained the palm of victory.' " — 
(History of the Nativity of Mary and the Infancy of the Saviour.) 

Stories of this kind at Christmas eve might have been more edi- 
fying, and perhaps more acceptable, to Uncle Midas's audience 
than his stern criticisms, and his attempt, as he himself calls it, to 
show that our Lord, although so extremely a man, as he said, had 
had no boyhood. 

He was well aware, nevertheless, that this peculiar- point of 
view was at least novel. " Opinion commonly held, he said, that 
the youth of our Lord ran on in a course very much like that of 
the generality of poor Jewish children." But as Puss remarked 
impulsively, "with a show of indignation," that she could not 

236 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

believe such a thing, Uncle Midas looked at her " benignantly," 
and said, '* Nor can I, either." 

Another novel feature of Uncle Midas's narrative is the effort 
that he made to destroy the idea, thus far prevailing, that the 
Holy Family was poor, and that St. Joseph had to rely upon his 
work as a carpenter for the support of his household. 

" They say," he went on, " that Joseph, to whom as a child our 
Lord was subject, was a carpenter who plied only the humbler 
branches of the trade, and that Mary, his wife, spun the flax and 
wool for the family, and was a housewife. These are the circum- 
stances chiefly relied upon," he continues, " to support the theory 
that the condition of the child was poverty. Now, while I admit 
the circumstances, I deny the conclusion. That Joseph was a car- 
penter signifies nothing, as the law required every Israelite, rich or 
poor, to follow some occupation. Now, was it not written of the 
exemplar of all the mothers in Israel, 'she looketh to the way of 
her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness ?' And if we 
may give heed to accounts not purely scriptural, Mary owned the 
house in Nazareth in which the family dwelt; but, conforming to 
the Scriptures, it is to be remembered that amongst the gifts of the 
Magi there was gold, and I please myself thinking that there was 
enough of it to support the Holy Family while it was in Egypt 

and afterwards in Nazareth As to the social position of the 

family, it is enough to remember that, besides being a just man, 
Joseph was a lineal descendant of David the king." 

From these premises Uncle Midas drew the conclusion that the 
Holy Family was " neither rich nor poor," that its condition was 
" comfortable," " exactly the condition to allow our Saviour a mar- 
ginal time in which to taste something of natural boyish freedom, 
.... to have little playmates, run races with the youngest of the 
flock, deck himself from the anemone-beds on the hills, and watch 
the clouds form slowly about the summit of Mount Hermon." 

If the view thus presented were historically correct, the world 
must have remained for nineteen centuries under a permanent 
cloud of error and misrepresentation. The lesson which the 
always taken-for-granted condition of poverty, and dependence 
upon manual labor, of the Holy Family has taught to the human 
race, and has so efficiently contributed to alleviate social evils and 
render the burdens of the unfortunate lighter or more supportable, 
would henceforth be lost and unwarranted. 

Fortunately, neither the unchanged and universal tradition of 
mankind, nor historical monuments of irrefutable character, can 
allow the subversive views of Uncle Midas, upon the supposed 
" comfortable " position of the Holy Family, to be entertained for 
a moment. So well settled the contrary assertion proves to be, 

A New Biographer of our Lord, 237 

that even Protestant writers, and among them men of such immense 
learning and information as Alfred Edersheim, author of "The Life 
and Times of Jesus the Messiah," not certainly well disposed either 
in favor of our Church or in favor of the legends above referred to, 
and so severely criticised by Uncle Midas, have not hesitated to 
maintain it boldly and squarely. " At the time of their betrothal," 
says Edersheim, "alike Joseph and Mary were extremely poor, as 
appears, not indeed from his being a carpenter, since a trade was 
regarded as almost a religious duty, but from the offering at the 
presentation of Jesus in the Temple." 

According to the law (Leviticus, chapter xii., v. 6), the said offering 
should consist, under ordinary circumstances, of a lamb one year old 
for a burnt-offering, and a turtle-dove for a sin-offering («^w^;/^ anni- 
culuni in holocaustwn et pulhmi cohwibce, sive peccato) ; 
but when the mother was not able to get the lamb— which, like all 
other offerings, could be bought at the Temple— then the offering 
should be two turtle-doves, or two young pigeons, one for the 
burnt-offering and the other for the sin-offering. (Quod si non in- 
venerit munus ejus, nee potuerit offerre agnum, sumet ducs turtures, 
vel duos pullos columbarum, iinum in holocaustum, et alteruin pro 
peccato. Lev. xii., 8.) 

And St. Luke says explicitly (chapter ii., v. 24) that the offering 
of the Blessed Virgin, in presenting her Divine Son at the Temple, 
was, according to the latter provision, a pair of turtle-doves or two 
young pigeons. 

Tertullian says that Mary earned her livelihood by working ; 
and Celsus, in the second century, said that Mary was a woman 
who had lived by the work of her hands. 

The general tradition of mankind, and the expression given to 
it by art, is, and has been at all times, that St. Joseph brought up 
the Divine Child as a carpenter, and that Jesus exercised the craft 
of his foster-father. This touching and familiar aspect of the life 
of our Saviour, as Mrs. Jameson says (Legends of the Madonna), 
is speciall}^ treated in pictures painted for private oratories, and in 
prints prepared for distribution among the people, and became 
specially popular during the religious reaction of the seventeenth 
century. " The greatest and wisest Being who ever trod the earth 
was thus represented, in the eyes of the poor artificer, as ennobling 
and sanctifying labor and toil ; and the quiet, domestic duties and 
affections were here elevated and hallowed by religious associa- 
tions, and adorned by all the graces of art. Even when the ar- 
tistic treatment was not first-rate, still, if the sentiment and 

significance were but intelligible to those especially addressed, the 
purpose was accomplished, and the effect must have been good." 

Had Uncle Midas in his library that pretty little book of Mrs. 

238 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

Jameson's, which has just been cited, he might have read to 
his young visitors the beautiful description of a set of twelve 
prints executed in the Netherlands, exhibiting a sort of his- 
tory of the childhood of our Lord, and His training under the eye 
of His mother, which is there made. This set of prints has for its 
title Jesu Christi Dei Domini Salvatoris nostri Infantia^ and rep- 
resents different domestic scenes highly interesting. In one of 
them St. Joseph is working as a carpenter, the Blessed Virgin is 
measuring linen, and the Divine Child blowing soap-bubbles. In 
another the Blessed Virgin is reeling off a skein of thread, St. 
Joseph preparing a plank, and Jesus, assisted by two angels, pick- 
ing up the chips. In another St. Joseph is building up the frame- 
work of a house, and Jesus boring a hole with a large gimlet, 
while the Blessed Virgin is winding thread. 

St. Justin, the Martyr, mentions, as a tradition of his time, that 
our Lord assisted St. Joseph in making yokes and ploughs. And 
St. Bonaventure not only describes the Blessed Virgin as a pattern 
of female industry, but alludes particularly to the " legend of the 
distaff," and mentions a tradition that, when in Egypt the Holy 
Family was in extreme poverty, and almost compelled to beg. 

The fact that the Magi made an offering of gold, does not prove 
that this gold was enough to support the whole family in Egypt, 
and also in Nazareth, as Uncle Midas was pleased to hope; and 
the fact that St. Joseph was a lineal descendant of David the king 
is not sufficient evidence that he enjoyed the *' comfortable" po- 
sition in life which is ascribed to him. St. Joseph was, no doubt, 
a patrician, as Abbe Orsini calls him; but as the same eminent 
writer says (" Life of the Blessed Virgin," chapter vii.), his fortune, if 
any had ever been in his family, " had been absorbed by the politi- 
cal revolutions and religious wars of Judea, as a drop of rain is 
swallowed in the sea, leaving him only his tools and his arms for 

When one of Uncle Midas's young visitors asked him whether 
our Lord " did not play as other children," and whether He " did 
go to school," the old gentleman answered that " Jesus was pre- 
ternaturally serious," and that, " if Nazareth had a school, and the 
better opinion is that the village was not so favored, it is to be kept 
in mind that scholars could not be admitted before the age of six, 
and that all instruction was limited to the law, and entirely oral." 

With due respect to the speaker, it can be stated positively that 
not one of these assertions is supported by evidence. The assump- 
tion that the Divine Child, the child par excellence, as might be said, 
the most perfect, and therefore the most lovely and charming type 
of childhood, was nevertheless " preternaturally serious," involves 
a contradiction of principles which is fatal to it. Its mere enuncia- 

A New Biographer of our Lord, 2ig 

tion makes it fall to the ground. And the ideas as to schools, and 
the education at Palestine at the time of the boyhood of our Lord, 
and the standing of Nazareth as far as learning and civilization are 
concerned, which Uncle Midas conveyed to his listeners, do not 
bear, either, too close examination. 

Nazareth, as Edersheim writes, although it might seem with- 
drawn from the world in its enclosure of mountains, must not be 
thought of as a lonely village, reached only by faint echoes of 
what roused the land beyond. The great interests which stirred 
the land constantly met there. One of the great commercial routes 
of the world at that time led through Nazareth, and men of all 
nations, busy with another life than that of Israel, would appear 
in its streets, and through them thoughts, associations, and hopes 
connected with the great outside world be stirred. 

On the other hand, Nazareth, was also one of the great centres 
of Jewish temple life, or priest centres, where the priests of the 
" course" which was to be on duty at the temple usually assem- 
bled in preparation for their sacred functions. "A double signifi- 
cance, says the learned writer above named, attached therefore to 
Nazareth, since through it passed alike those who carried on the 
traffic of the world, and those who ministered in the temple." 

To say, or think, that this village was not favored with what was 
so common, and so well regulated, as schools were in Judea, is, to 
say the least, unfounded. The regular instruction of every child 
commenced there wath the fifth or sixth year of his age. Every 
one of them was sent to the school. Schools were established in 
every town, and education was compulsory under the laws. Nu- 
merous authorities cited by Edersheim establish beyond a doubt 
that a city or town where there was no school was not lawfully to 
be inhabited by any family, and deserved to be either destroyed or 
excommunicated. And Jewish tradition had it that, in spite of 
the fabulous number of schools supposed to have existed in Jeru- 
salem, the city fell only because of the neglect of the education of 

These schools, sometimes called^^<f//?//^, evidently from the Greek 
schole, where children gathered around their teachers, were des- 
tined to impart to them, first the knowledge of the alphabet and of 
writing, and then onwards to the farthest limit of instruction, and 
were conducted with extreme care, wisdom, accuracy and a moral 
and religious purpose as the ultimate object. To use the language 
of Maimonides, from whom Edersheim quotes, " encircled by his 
pupils as by a crown of glory," the teacher, generally the Chazzan, 
or officer of the synagogue, made them familiar with the precious 
knowledge of the law, adapting it constantly to their capacity with 

240 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

unwearied patience, intense earnestness, and, above all, with the 
highest object of their training ever in view. 

Roughly classifying the subjects of study, it was held, as Eder- 
sheim explains, that up to ten years of age the Sacred Book should 
be exclusively the text-book. From ten to fifteen they studied 
the Mishnah, or traditional law. After that age the student 
entered into those theological and philosophical discussions which 
took place in the higher academies of the rabbis. The first book 
of the Scripture to be studied was the Leviticus. From it they 
passed to the other parts of the Pentateuch, and then to the 
Prophets, and finally to the Hagiographa or sacred writings, 
which completed the Scripture. What now constitutes the Gemare 
or Talmud was taught in the academies. — ('* The Life and Times 
of Jesus the Messiah," by Alfred Edersheim, Book ii. chap. 9.) 

And why had the teaching to be necessarily oral ? The posses- 
sion of parts, if not of the whole, of the writings which form what 
we call the " Old Testament " was very common, and formed a 
cherished treasure in every household. From the first book of 
the Maccabees, chapter i., v. 59 and 60, it appears that during the 
great persecution which preceded their rising up in arms against 
the tyranny which oppressed their country, one of the obnoxious 
edicts of king Antiochus was, that the houses should be searched, 
the sacred books found in them seized and destroyed, and that 
" every man in whose possession a book of the testament of the 
Lord was found" should be put to death. 

It might have been interesting for the attentive listeners of Uncle 
Midas to hear from him these accounts, or others, no doubt pre- 
sented in a better form, — and being taught that schools, and school- 
laws, and school-boards, and compulsory education, and academies 
and universities, were things well-known not only among the Jews, 
but among the Egyptians, before the days of the Exodus, when 
Moses was a student at Heliopolis ; and that even newspapers, called 
Mikhtabhin, appear to hav'e been in existence in the days of the 
childhood of our Lord, which were not allowed to appear on the 
Sabbath except when dwelling on public affairs. — (" The Life, etc." 
Book ii., chap. 2.) 

When Uncle Midas has gone through with his critical analysis 
of the " Gospel of the Infancy," and returned the book to its place 
in his library, to be kept there as a standing monument of human 
foolishness, he makes his audience listen to those passages in the 
Gospels which refer to the subject which he was discussing. And 
as he specially dwelt upon the second chapter of St. Luke, begin- 
ning at the 39th verse, he had special delight, as it seems, in por- 
traying, as vividly as he could, the trip from Nazareth to Jerusalem, 

A Nezv Biographer of our Lord. 241 

which ended by the incident of the losing of the child Jesus and 
His finding in the temple. 

With what care Uncle Midas describes what he calls that "pro- 
cession " ! The Blessed Virgin riding on a donkey ; by her, her 
Divine Son, our Lord, marching on foot ; and close to them St. 
Joseph, also on foot; surrounded by James, Joseph, Simon and 
Jude, who he says were the sons of St. Joseph by a former mar- 
riage. Fortunately Uncle Midas, who has a great respect for the 
Blessed Virgin, to such an extent as to compel him to ask pardon 
for it in consideration of his " great love of good women," did 
not do as others have done, rashly and impiously, and refrained 
from stating that the four personages above named were brethren 
of our Lord in the real, material sense of the word. 

That James, Joseph, Simon and Jude were not the sons of St. 
Joseph, and not brothers, but cousins, of our Lord, the sons of 
Cleophas, also called Alpheus, and of Mary, a cousin of the 
Blessed Virgin, is a fact so well established, even simply histor- 
ically, that Uncle Midas might have done better by talking to his 
listeners with more accuracy. Even Protestant writers of the most 
l)igoted disposition, upon exhaustive inquiries, have had to recog- 
nize the true relationship of the four personages above named with 
our Divine Redeemer; and Puss, and Nan, and John, and the others 
who eagerly received the words of Uncle Midas might have been 
much better taught, and perhaps more pleased also, if, instead of 
the wrong notions put by him in their heads, they would have 
been given a short and interesting account of the family of both 
St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin, and an explanation of who 
were the different persons named Mary whom the Gospels men- 

This very same trip to Jerusalem, which the commandments of 
the law caused the Holy Family, as well as all other faithful relig- 
ious observers, to make, might have been under a different, and no 
doubt better, spirit, extremely interesting to the children who had 
gathered around the speaker. St. Epiphanius and St. Bernard, 
cited by Orsini in his " Life of the Blessed Virgin," chapter xv., in- 
forms us that in those journeys, both going and returning, the 
men went in companies, separate from the women, and that St. 
Joseph and the Blessed Virgin were in different companies, this 
having been the reason why neither of them felt at first uneasy at 
the disappearance of Jesus, and did not perceive it until the even- 
ing, when all the travelers assembled together. Instead of giving 
his listeners a description of the flight into Egypt, such as a 
great painter has portrayed it on canvas, the Blessed Virgin 
riding on a donkey and St. Joseph walking by her, Uncle 
Midas might have copied from Orsini, and given to his listeners 
VOL. XIV. — 16 

242 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

an account of the groups or companies of which the travelers 
formed a part during the day. " Around the Virgin," he says, 
*' were Mary of Cleophas, sister-in-law of Joseph, another Mary, 
designated in the Gospel by the name oi altera Maria, Salome, the 
wife of Zebedee, who came from Bethsaida, .... Johanna, the 
wife of Chus, and a number of Nazarenes of her family connec- 
tions and neighborhood. Joseph followed them at some distance, 
conversing gravely with Zebedee the fisherman and the ancients 
of his tribe. Jesus walked amidst some young Galileans whom 
the Gospel, according to the genius of the Hebrew tongue, has 
called his brethren, and who were his near relatives." 

When the passage was reached relative to the answer which 
our Lord gave to His mother, " how is it that ye sought Me? 
Did you not know that I must be about the things that are My 
Father's?" or " about My Father's business," as Uncle Midas's 
Protestant New Testament read, one of the children asked what 
was meant by that phrase. Uncle Midas gravely answered by 
giving his listeners a lesson of religious indifference, if not real 
irreligion. " One of the clearest observations of my life," he said, 
" is that people of good intent are never troubled in the matter of 
religion, except as they stray off into that field. In return for your 
trust in me, take a rule of conduct, good for every day's observance : 
when you hear a man talking oracularly in definition of topics 
which our Lord thought best to leave outside of His teachings and 
revelation, set it down that he is trenching on the business of the 
Father and the prerogatives of the Son. Then go your way and 
let him alone." 

In other words, whenever the successors of the Apostles, when- 
ever the Church which has, and has to have, infallible authority to 
teach the truth, oracularly, as Uncle Midas says, in matters of reli- 
gion, proclaim a tenet, or define a topic, or fix a dogma, set it 
down that the one and the other are intruders in the affairs of the 
Father. Close your ears to their teachings, turn your backs to 
them, and follow your own judgment. 

All missions and apostolic work are no more than intrusions. 
No man of good intent can be troubled by these matters. 

If this is all that Uncle Midas learned in this world, after his 
sixty-five years of experience as a lawyer, a soldier, an author, a 
traveler, a scholar, a statesman, and a diplomatist, he was cer- 
tainly to be pitied. 

Protestantism and Art. 243 


r^ ESCRIBING the effects of the "Reformation" on art is analo- 
■■^ gous to describing the effects of the great eruption of Vesu- 
vius on Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the surrounding country. 
When the bHnding tempest has spent itself and the Stygian flood 
has congealed, nothing is visible under the sun but desolation and 
the blackness of fire-wrought ruin. The gardens and groves, the 
villas and vineyards that adorned the slopes of the mountain, and the 
fair Greek cities lower down are buried and blotted out. The 
Iconoclasts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries wrought 
similar havoc on the religious institutions and edifices and all they 
contained. To make the causes of the great catastrophe clear, it 
is necessary to go back to an earlier date. 

The inventions and discoveries of the fifteenth century were 
instrumental in producing changes that no prophet predicted nor 
philosopher divined. They contributed to bring about revolutions 
and counter-revolutions, both in the objective and subjective 
worlds — in commerce, industry, art, science, and religion. Gun- 
powder had been invented and was rapidly revolutionizing the art 
of war. The invention of the mariner's compass and the astrolabe 
were revolutionizing the art of navigation. The great ocean navi- 
gators now sailed out free and far into the unknown, and discov- 
ered new worlds. The story told by Columbus on his return to 
Spain was charged with the magic of romance as well as the magic 
of science, and lifted men above the clouds. The volume of secu- 
lar revelation continued to increase. The open book in the hand 
of the angel who had his right foot on the sea and his left foot on 
the land was read and devoured, for the fullness of time had come. 
The doubling of the Cape of Good Hope, the circumnavigation of 
the globe, the conquest of Mexico and Peru, were the inevitable 
sequel of the heroic exploits of Columbus. The discovery of 
Labrador by the Cabots and the St. Lawrence by Jacques Cartier, 
which brought England and France within the charmed circle of 
maritime exploration and colonial enterprise, fanned the spirit of 
adventure into swift activity and further extended the boundaries 
of knowledge. Geography, ethnography, and natural history sud- 
denly expanded towards their natural limits, sweeping away many 
of the fables perpetuated or invented by Herodotus, Pliny, Marco 
Polo, and other historic celebrities. The invention of printing 
1 See Catholic Quarterly for July, 1888, article "Art and Religion." 

244 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

with movable types and the kindred art of engraving, or printing 
copies innumerable in black and white of drawings of every kind 
— representations of all objects — and the making of paper from 
linen rags, which, all three taken together in the printed and illus- 
trated page, constitute the least perishable repository of ideas and 
the most potent of instrumentalities for acting on public opinion, 
were also products of this same wonder-breeding epoch. 

The fall of Constantinople in the middle of the fifteenth century, 
which was immediately preceded and followed by an exodus of 
Greek scholars and artists, was another factor in the making of the 
modern world, for it gave a new and mighty impulse to the Renais- 
sance — a movement which soon evinced a spirit of hostility to 
ethical Christianity. The promulgation of the Pythagorian or 
Copernican theory of the solar system capped the climax of the 
scientific movement and plumed speculative thought with daring 
pinion. When the pillared earth on which the sky rested became 
a whirling globe in the void, and in company with the peerless 
evening star and the other planets, and attended by the moon (un- 
justly called inconstant), revolving around the sun, who, clad in 
the majesty and terror of fire, sate enthroned in sovereign state on 
his own immovable centre, big-eyed wonder looked out transfixed 
on the fathomless mysteries of the transformed universe. The 
starry roof, more shadowy and unreal than a summer cloud, was 
dissolved and the old cosmogony vanished into space. The crys- 
tal sphere, inlaid with patens of fine gold, was resolved into inco- 
herent innumerable units scattered through immeasurable space. 
All these stupendous novelties disturbed profoundly the equilib- 
rium of the human faculties, and in the resulting reel and dizziness 
the foundations of the Church and of the world itself seemed to 
quake and fail. Imagination ran into fantasy and fantasy into 
magic and wild superstitions ; there was white magic, and black 
magic, and a whole brood of diabolical delusions which owed their 
origin, it is believed, to the corrupt esoteric teachings of the Sara- 
cen schools in the Orient and in Spain, and which, perhaps, might 
be traced back to Egyptian priests and Chaldean seers in far-off 
times. Astrology and alchemy, phantasms of Arabian Sabiaiiism, 
flourished more than at any previous period. Man's life was inex- 
orably governed by the planets and constellations. The philoso- 
pher's stone and the elixir of life — gold and immortality — were 
the desiderata of pretended occult science. So-called sages and 
scholars searched with feverish haste for these talismans, and in 
the search wasted the fortunes of their disciples and dupes, and 
often their own lives, for they were not all impostors. Other 
noxious emanations from the nether world darkened the face of 
nature at this juncture, the most sinister and deadly of which was 

Protestantism and Art. 24; 

witchcraft— a superstition which drank the blood of the classes 
that called especially for charity and protection— the old, the feeble, 
and the poverty-stricken. 

Such was the intellectual condition of Europe at the advent of 
the " Reformation," and those were the auxiliary causes of its rapid 
progress. Nothing was too gross for the credulity of the vulgar, 
provided it was a new thing. The age had drunk deeply of "the 
Renaissance and of the new geographical and cosmical revelations. 
When the more potent chalice of the new theology was commended 
to the lips of the new generation, men drank so greedily of that 
chalice that many became mad — mad with that form of insanity 
which is contagious and which may seize a whole people of a sud- 
den — Fanaticism. 

Those movements and events down to the " Reformation" had no 
injurious effect on any branch of art, with one exception — minia- 
ture painting. The copying of manuscript was, of course, super- 
seded by printing, and the art of illumination by engraving. This 
last was soon recognized as a legitimate form of fine art, and evi- 
dently destined to fulfil in a measure the same office for painting, 
sculpture, and architecture that the art of printing fulfils for letters, 
and, apart from that, to enter on a field exclusively its own, etch- 
ing from nature — a field of which it is in full possession at present. 
Indeed, art steadily advanced, with the exception mentioned, till 
the throes of the Lutheran revolt began to shake Europe. As 
Beatrice grew more radiant and divine as she ascended from orb 
to orb, so art grew more beautiful and sublime in her gorgeous 
progress from decade to decade, till the great eclipse of faith in the 
sixteenth century " disastrous twilight shed on half the nations." 
In that ghastly gloaming the spell-struck fanatic saw demons am- 
bushed in shrine and image. Things of beauty, especially if asso- 
ciated with religion, instead of filling him with lofty joy, made 
day and night hideous to his haggard eye and perverted con- 
science. His zeal against idolatry became a fire and flame within 
him, to which the torch in the outer world soon responded. 

The fall of Constantinople and the extinction of the Eastern Em- 
pire had extended the field of art in western Europe. The study 
and imitation of the antique were no novelties in Italy, for they 
were followed there from an early day by the Pisani, Squarchione, 
and their schools; but the Greek refugees, under the auspices of 
the ^Medici and other princes, imparted a momentum to it which 
dete'rmined the character of the years that followed, of whiph mem- 
orable years it became the dominant influence and far-shining 
blazon. The luxuriant results soon became marvellously appa- 
rent in art as well as literature, while in the social life and politics 
of the princes and nobles the smiling promise of the new spirit 

246 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

soon passed into a sinister frown or a satyr-like leer — true forecasts 
of the lives they were doomed to lead. No doubt all this was in- 
imical to asceticism and the temper of the cloister, and, indirectly, 
to Christian art, which had no longer the field exclusively to itself, 
but it added immensely to the repertoire of the studios. The old 
sculptures dug up from time to time furnished models of perfect 
physical form. The ample roll of mythology furnished themes 
for the decoration of palaces, municipal buildings, and banqueting 
halls. The artists, working in the new field, but still cultivating the 
old and greater one, acquired an amplitude of design and a free- 
dom of fancy not permitted in sacred art. But as the pagan tem- 
ples had yielded their stately columns and polished marbles to 
adorn the churches, so now another transition, from paganism to 
Christianity, but a wholly innocent and indeed edifying one, took 
place. The rhythmic proportions, rapt repose, and flowing lines 
of the Greek deities were bestowed on the saints and angels. How- 
ever, this ennoblement of form was not permitted to mar the 
ancient Christian ideal or blur the divine sadness characteristic of 
the Christian types. 

Wherv it becomes necessary to tell once more what has been 
often told, the telling should be brief. Briefly, then, the years 
immediately preceding the " Reformation " were the golden age of 
Christian art. The fresh morning prime — the day of Giotto, of 
the Van Eycks, of the Pisani, of Memling, of Fra Angelico, of Ver- 
rocchio, of Massaccio, of the Bellini, of Perugino, of Martin Schon- 
gauer, passed in due season into the noontide splendor of Michael 
Angelo, Raphael, Titian, Leonardo, Giorgione, Francia, Albert 
Durer, Hans Holbein, Peter Vischer, and their hardly less famous 
brethren. These men were all born before the " Reformation," but 
all lived into it except Raphael, who died in 1520, the year Luther 
openly defied the Pope. Raphael and Luther were born the same 
year; Calvin and Michael Angelo died the same year. Melanch- 
thon, Zwingli, Henry the Eighth, Boccold, the Anabaptist, Karl- 
stadt, the Saxon Iconoclast, Munzer, the leader of the German 
peasant insurrection, were all contemporaries, and also contempo- 
raries of the great artists. John Knox was born in 1505 and John 
Calvin in 1509, but historically, if not strictly chronologically, they 
belonged to the same group as the English, German, and Swiss 
*' Reformers." To borrow a phrase from the stage, they were all 
in the same cast, though some came on later than others. 

At that critical, momentous period, when the earth trembled 
under the tread of giants, and those institutions of the Church 
which were overloaded with wealth and privilege were assailed 
by the secular powers that coveted that wealth and envied the 
privileges, art was still profoundly religious as well as supremely 

Protestantism and Art, 247 

grand. It continued to unfold its growing splendor in the 
churches, chapels, and oratories. By far the greater number of 
the works of the day— a day that was so soon to end— were de- 
signed for altars and shrines, or for the banners carried in religious 
processions, like the Madonna di San Sisto, or to illustrate dogma, 
like the Adoration of the Trinity, by Albert Durer, or the Dis-' 
puta, by Raphael ; or to illustrate the principal scenes in Holy 
Writ, like the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, The subjects of all 
these chefs doeiivre, and of all the chefs d'ceuvre to be seen to-day 
in the museums, are taken from the supernatural, or, to say the 
least, the great majority of them. In the Disputa, for instance, 
heaven and earth, past and present, the quick and the dead, are 
embraced in one apocalyptic vision. Saint Thomas Aquinas and 
Dante, both of whom are there, seem to have given each a sepa- 
rate inspiration to Raphael. In short, whether we look to fresco 
painting, panel painting, or sculpture, we see once more, and 
nearly for the last time, the themes that were handled with tim- 
idity in the catacombs, and nobly developed in the basilicas, now 
invested with the highest attributes of beauty and power ; but 
from the cubicula of St. Calixtus to the Arena Chapel, an4 thence 
to the Sistine, and from the Madonna in the Catacomb of Saint 
Priscilla (the earliest known picture of the Virgin and Child) to 
the Holbein and Raphael Madonnas in Dresden, first and last they 
are all conceived in the same spirit and fulfil the same ecclesias- 
tical and devotional purpose, and for the fulfilment of which they 
were expressly designed and executed. 

The greatest monument of pictorial representation the world has 
yet seen — the vault and the end wall of the Sistine Chapel — was 
created at this time. Let us dwell briefly on those gigantic 
achievements of Michael Angelo, as they illustrate vividly the tran- 
scendent excellence of art on the eve of the " Reformation." In those 
immense frescoes there are three hundred and forty-five figures — 
most of them colossal — patriarchs, prophets, kings, sibyls, saints, 
angels, demons, Lucifer himself, and a greater than Lucifer. The 
series of compositions begins with the Creation and fitly ends with 
the Last Judgment. The Father Almighty, charioted on the wings 
of the cherubims by the wings of the wind, sweeping over the 
abyss, making the heavens and the earth, dominates the opening 
scene, and the Son of Man, with uplifted hand, gauntleted with 
wrath, the final and most fearful catastrophe. The Titanic forms 
in those vast compositions seem to have no affinity, except in 
shape, to beings of earthly mold, unless we go back to the ante- 
diluvian earth, before man lost his towering stature or his brow 
the brightness of the image in which he was made. To say that 
they excel all other pictorial works in that quality which is con- 

248 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

fessedly the highest in every manifestation of art and nature, — 
sublimity, — is merely to repeat the unanimous verdict of the civ- 
ilized world for four hundred years. They show the unexampled 
power of the hand as well as of the intellect and imagination of the 
author. The principal figures, except those in the Inferno, which 
are fitly clothed with hideousness and grizzly horror, are endowed 
in face and form with superhuman majesty and solemnity, as well 
as superhuman proportions. The muses in their flight evidently 
passed and paused there, and touched the mighty forms with the 
fire of life ; and the heaven-eyed mystics, who, in those rapt moods 
when "thought was not," passed the flaming bounds of space and 
time, touched them with a diviner ray brought down from a loftier 
sphere. The spirit in which the whole is conceived and executed 
reveals a double inspiration — the poetical and the religious ; but 
that spirit is purely the supernatural spirit of the Middle Ages. 
While Michael Angelo's architectural designs were inspired directly 
or indirectly by the monuments of ancient Rome, his paintings and 
sculptures, the truest expressions of his genius, and the most orig- 
inal, give ocular demonstration that they belong as wholly and 
truly to the mediaeval cycle as the Gothic cathedrals beyond the 
Alps. Notwithstanding the authority to the contrary of a learned 
but bigoted historian (John Addington Symonds), we venture to 
say that no unprejudiced eye can discern in the works that cover 
the vast vault of the Sistine, or the vast space of the Last Judg- 
ment, any trace of the Humanist or pagan inspiration of the 
Renaissance, though the author in his youth was undoubtedly a 
protege of Lorenzo de' Medici, and a pupil of some of the Human- 
ist scholars patronized by that prince. It is not too much to say 
that the glorious chapel of the Vatican enshrines the supreme epic 
of Christian art since Dante, and that its place is by the side of the 
" Divina Commedia," of which it is a translation into visible form ; 
but years before the work was finished, that is, before the Last 
Judgment was painted, the Iconoclastic movement, armed with fire 
and sword, had swept over Europe, leaving desolation in its track. 
The historians and critics all agree that the " Reformation " was 
hurtful to religious art, and one of the many causes of its decline, 
and this they say in brief and general terms. However, no com- 
petent author or other authority, as far as the writer knows, admits 
that it was anything more than one of the many causes of that de- 
cline, much less the sole one, and, least of all, not only of the de- 
cline of sacred art, but of all art, sacred and profane, except music 
and poetry.^ This is what the writer purposes to show in the fol- 

^ Briefly, then, we find that the religious revolution, wherever it penetrated, de- 
stroyed at a blow the great function of religious art, whilst everywhere the diffusion 
of printing largely lessened its importance as a means of popular instruction. Mean- 

Protestantism and Art. 240 

lowing pages by drawing the curtain from one of the most wide- 
spread scenes of the drama of the " Reformation," the image-break- 
ing episode, of which but a dim and distant reminiscence seems to 
exist even among the learned. But some mention of the doctrinal 
propagandism which preceded the overt acts of wanton demoli- 
tion is necessary in order to give an idea of the deep-seated motive 
which prompted those acts, and the lasting effects of the war on 

The cry of idolatry, as the synonym and substance of image 
worship, or prayers and meditations in the presence of statues and 
pictures representing Christ and the saints, had resounded through 
Europe in early ages, and had sufficient force then to split the 
empire and the Church. Like the simoon it came from the hot 
sands of the desert, but left behind it no permanent evil results, 
except in the Byzantine empire and the Mohammedan world.^ 
The " Reformers " now raised the same cry, and a spell of preter- 
natural power as in the olden time it proved to be. Neither the 
diffusion of letters, the discoveries of science, the increase of com- 
merce, nor the general progress in civilization had weakened its 
malefic energy in the least. The pulpits of Wittenberg and Zurich 
(Calvin the supreme Iconoclast had not yet made his debut as " re- 
former ") thundered against idolatry. All the maledictions uttered 
in the Old Testament against idol worship were now hurled against 
the Church. Those fierce pulpiteers — apostate priests — struck at 
all the dogmas and traditions which were the aesthetic motives, and, 
we may add, the deepest inspiration of Christian art. The Real 
Presence was denied. The sacraments were reduced to two or 
three. The invocation of saints and angels was foolishness. The 
worship of the Blessed Virgin was idolatry. Prayers for the dead 
were of no avail ; for as the tree fell, it lay. There was no middle 
state. The saints above were inaccessible to the voice of prayer 
from below, and in any case powerless to help saint or sinner. 
There was no communion of the living and the dead. Thus the 
outlines of the supernatural world were blurred or blotted out, and 
clouds of negation spread between earth and heaven. Fasting and 

while the literary Renaissance, at first by its revelation of the master-works of Greek 
and Roman literature, then by the renewed impulse which it gave to physical science 
in all its branches, created interest for men's minds, which were not only in some de- 
gree opposed to serious art, but always in competition with it. — (Professor Palgrave, 
Oxford, Decline of A?'t.) 

1 The crusade of the Emperor Leo, the Isaurian, seems to have bequeathed a fatal 
influence to all religious art wherever the Greek church prevails. Ingl'er's Hand- 
Book of Italian Painting, for instance, says of Russia ; " Every exercise of individual 
power of genius is interdicted to the religious artists." The same thing is true of the 
painters of all the other states in the east which adhere to the Greek communion, 
while sculpture is unknown there. 

250 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

abstinence, and especially the Lenten fasts, were of pagan origin 
and devoid of all merit. The higher life was scoffed at as a fanat- 
ical delusion or a cloak for the grossest sensuality. The monastic 
vows of poverty, chastity and humility, and the solemn cov^enants 
between the priest and the Holy Trinity were vain formulae, of 
which the recording angel or the enlightened conscience took rro 
cognizance. The Mass was a most impious and damnable incan- 
tation, the foulest of idolatrous abominations. In brief, superstition 
and idolatry were the warp and woof of the old religion, which was 
no religion at all, but the great apostacy predicted by the prophet, 
and the Pope was Anti-Christ, the Man of Sin, the Son of Per- 
dition. To sum up, the brightest stars of the Catholic firmament 
were wrested from their orbits, as it were, and quenched as quickly 
as meteors. 

The " Reformers," still growing more and more radical, called 
trumpet-tongued for the extirpation of the whole system and the 
"purging" of the houses of worship. Wherever this fierce and 
virulent polemic gained ground, the first effects of it were to dry 
up the spiritual fountains and abrogate the practical conditions 
essential to the growth and nourishment of sacred art. The second 
effect was to let loose a tempest of Iconoclastic fury on the art 
works in the cathedrals, convents, and other ecclesiastical build- 
ings in northern and western Europe. Saint and angel were 
banished from shrine and sanctuary, even where shrine and sanc- 
tuary were not yet razed to the ground. The altar was not only 
stripped, but wrenched from its pride of place, and degraded into 
a common table. The command went forth, " Since pictures and 
statues are idols and instruments of Satan, let them be all de- 
stroyed." The work of destruction once begun raged like a con- 
flagration. Glass is fragile. The painted windows, one of the 
chief glories of Gothic architecture, were the first to fall. Taber- 
nacles, choir stalls, episcopal chairs, organs, missals, and pictures 
were heaped into bonfires ; statues of saints and angels, prophets 
and apostles, and the recumbent effigies of knights and nobles and 
their dames, were hammered in pieces and burned into lime. He- 
roic monumental art, of which there was a great deal in the 
crypts and the parts of the upper churches appropriated to tombs, 
fared no better than religious art. In many places nothing escaped, 
in others just enough of fragments and mutilated figures to indi- 
cate the magnitude of the disaster. The artistic product of sev- 
eral centuries, garnered in the sacred houses, the gifts and be- 
quests and sepulchral monuments of pious and heroic generations, 
from whose loins the destroyers themselves were sprung, were all 
swept away by the torrent of puritanical fanaticism. Apart from 
the deluge of blood that inundated Europe, and the manifold suf- 

Protestantism and Art, 2U 

ferings of the inhabitants caused by the more than hundred years 
of fighting between Catholics and Protestants that followed the 
*' Reformation," there is no incident in modern history more to be 
regretted than this, because it robbed posterity of an inheritance 
invaluable in itself, and which was also a powerful aid to letters 
and chivalry in the extension of liberal culture. The loss was 
irremediable, because the spirit which had created mediaeval art 
had fled the earth, though, happily, it sent down the new music 
in the person of Palestrina as a paraclete to a forsaken world/ 

The severity of this indictment calls for a specific account of the 
wreck and ruin perpetrated by the Iconoclasts, to show that we 
have attempted no exaggeration; and if the sombre outlines 
sketched above shall be filled in with more sombre strokes and 
darker colors, it is because the brush is wielded by history itself. 
The testimony bearing on the case is voluminous ; but only Pro- 
testant authorities of recognized rank shall be quoted, and but a 
{^\M, because the facts have never been disputed. This polemic, 
if polemic it be, is confined to the action and influence, immediate 
and remote, of the " Reformation " on the arts of design. Music 
and poetry are not within its scope, much less the graver questions 
of politics and social science, though one or other may incidentally 
intrude for a moment. The '* Reformation " was not only a revolu- 
tion, but the fruitful mother of revolutions ; and the end is not yet. 
Many a laureate has sung her stormy, blood-red glories in burn- 
ing phrase, and many an eloquent expositor identified her among 
crowding causes as the gracious mistress of modern civilization, 
and apostrophized her as the supreme benefactress of the human 
race, and her iron-tongued apostle as the grandest incarnation of 
heroism. The literature containing those panegyrics in prose and 
verse fills libraries, and he who runs may read. Those multitu- 
dinous, many-voiced laudations are not challenged here because the 
purpose is to keep strictly within self-prescribed limits, and as far 
away as possible from the arena of dogmatic controversy. Nev^er- 
theless, the question this article is attempting to elucidate, which 
is but a branch of a greater subject— a subject which without 
exaggeration may be said to reach from earth to heaven and from 
time to eternity — is perhaps fraught with meaning and teaching of 

' " The peace of Westphalia, concluded in 1648, is important, however, not as marked 
in the introduction of new principles, but as winding up the struggle which had con- 
vulsed Germany since the revolt of Luther, sealing its results and closing definitely 
the period of the Reformation." — Brice, Holy Roman Empire. Chapter 19. 

That period closed in England with the battle of Worcester, fought in 165 1, and in 
France with the accession of Henri Quatre, although the Huguenots were in rebellion 
several times subsequently. The wars of the " Reformation " began in 1524, with the 
insurrection of the German peasants and the Anabaptist outbreak. They lasted for a 
century and a quarter. 

252 American Catholic Quarterly Revietv. 

vital import. The new age looking before and after and ponder- 
ing the everlasting problem of man's destiny is coming, if we mis- 
take not, to the belief that beauty and sublimity in art, and beauty 
and sublimity in human character, are of kindred origin, and that 
the religion which produces the best, and the most of the best, both 
in art and life, has credentials which the Sadducee, and even the 
atheist, must recognize. The true, the beautiful, and the good, the 
virtues and the graces, are all fruit from the same tree — the tree of 
life, which bears, we are told, twelve kinds of fruit, and the leaves 
of which are for the healing of the nations. 

At the " Reformation " all Europe abounded in magnificent cathe- 
drals, abbeys, priories, and churches. They were immense piles, 
the growth or aggregation of centuries, and were thronged with 
shrines and altars, very many of which were dowered with all the 
treasures that wealth and genius, stimulated by piety or contri- 
tion, could bestow. But no religious edifice, however small or 
remote, was destitute of pictures, banners, vestments, chalices, 
candlesticks, illuminated missals, and other requisites of the altar. 
These, it may be presumed, were of varying artistic quality, and 
some of them doubtless of no artistic quality at all ; but however 
rude some of them might be, they were all hallowed by the asso- 
ciation consequent on long usage. They served to instruct and 
edify the laity generation after generation. In short, the art treas- 
ures of the Church when the " Reformation " broke out were num- 
berless, and unfortunately her other possessions and \.\\q personnel 
of her establishments were on a corresponding scale. 

England, which is nearest to us morally, intellectually, and other- 
wise, first claims our notice. There, according to the historian, the 
" Reformation " was carried out more gradually and more mildly, 
less thoroughly, in fact, than in any other country. " Of all Euro- 
pean churches," says Hume, ** which shook off the yoke of the • 
Papal authority, no one proceeded with so much reason and 
moderation as the Church of England." Notwithstanding this, we 
look in vain for reason or moderation in the treatment bestowed 
by the English Iconoclasts on the art possessions of the Church. 
On the contrary, we see nothing in their conduct but unreason, 
violence, and destructiveness. To begin with, Henry the Eighth 
(according to the historian already mentioned), "at different times 
suppressed six hundred and forty-five monasteries, ninety colleges, 
two thousand three hundred and seventy-four churches and free 
chapels, and one hundred and ten hospitals." The suppression of 
all these houses necessarily involved the destruction or dispersion 
of their artistic collections. This of itself would account for the 
decline of the artistic faculty and the scarcity of mediaeval art 
work in that country, but worse followed. Throughout England, 

Protestantism and Art, 2?^ 

says Froude, ''by the year 1539 there was nothing left to tell of 
the presence of the saints but the names that clung to the churches 
they had built, or the shadowy memories which hung about their 
desecrated tombs Still the torrent rolled onward, mon- 
asteries and images were gone, and fancy relics in endless number. 
There remained the peculiar treasures of the great abbeys and 

cathedrals The bodies of the saints had been gathered 

into costly shrines which a beautiful piety had decorated with 
choicest offerings." Needless to add, the shrines were plundered 
and demolished. Not one was left in existence. It is true, St. 
Edward the Confessor's is still to be seen in Westminster Abbey; 
but it is not the original structure, but a restoration from the old 
building materials some considerable time after the walls were 
pulled down.^ 

With the advent of the young Edward, and the rule of Protector 
Somerset, a new and hungrier brood of zealots appeared on the 
stage, ravening for the last remnants of the possessions of the 
Church. There was little left — the fragments of what the first 
comers were unable to devour — but yet enough to whet the appe- 
tite for spoils, and inflame the mania of image breaking. We 
quote again from Froude : " Injunctions were issued for the general 
purification of the churches. From wall and window, every pic- 
ture, every image commemorative of saint, or prophet, or apostle 
was to be extirpated and put away so that there should remain no 
memory of the same. Painted glass survives to show that the 
order was imperfectly obeyed ; but in general, spoliation became 
the law of the land — the statues crashed from the niches ; rood and 
rood-loft were laid low, and the sunlight stared on the whitened 
aisles. ..... 

" The cathedrals and the churches of London became the chosen 
scenes of riot and profanity. St Paul's was the stock exchange 
of the day, where the merchants of the city met for business, and 
the lounge where young gallants gathered, fought, and killed each 
other. They rode their horses through the aisles and stabled 
them among the monuments 

"As to the mass of the people, hospitals were gone, schools broken 
up, almshouses swept away ; every institution which Catholic piety 
had bequeathed for the support of the poor was either abolished or 
suspended ; and the poor themselves, smarting with rage and suffer- 

1 The account of the pillage and demolition of the shrine of St. Thomas in Canter^ 
bury Cathedral— the richest shrine in the world— is a very curious page of '« Reforma- 
tion " history. The saint, who had been dead for centuries, was cited to appear in court 
m London and be tried for treason. Not obeying the summons, he was condemned in 
his absence as a traitor, upon which the king " ordered his name to be struck out of 
the calendar, the office of his festival to be expunged from all breviaries, his bones 
to be burned and the ashes to be thrown in the air;" 

254 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

ing and seeing piety, honesty, duty, trampled under foot by their 

superiors, were sinking into savages Missals were chopped 

in pieces with hatchets, college libraries plundered and burned. 
The ^divinity schools were planted with cabbages and the Oxford 
laundresses dried clothes in the schools of arts." — (Froude's " His- 
tory of England," vol. v. chapter j']}) 

Knowing that the England of to-day is not an artistic country, the 
Philistine and the cynic may be skeptical as to the value and 
number of the works destroyed, and also, perhaps, as to the excel- 
lence of all art of the mediaeval period, or even disposed to sit in 
the seat of the scorner, like Carlyle — true in this one thing to the 
teaching of John Knox — and sneer at the fine arts one and all, 
and of all climes and times. But the Gothic cathedrals, steeped 
in pensive beauty, and breathing, though faintly now, the odors 
of ancient sanctity, still stand to shame the scorner and confound 
the ignorant. These majestic fabrics testify in no doubtful way 
to the unsurpassed splendor of the artistic genius of the English 
as well as their profound piety, before the " Reformation" ; but on 
this head we are not left to mere deduction, as witness the follow- 
ing from a late work by a learned divine of the English church •} 

*' Now up and down this land of England there are, say, five 
thousand churches that at this moment stand upon the same 
foundations that they stood upon five hundred years ago ; some 
few of them standing in the main as they were left eight centuries 
ago. If for five thousand any one should suggest, not five thous- 
and, but ten thousand, I should find no fault with the correction. 

" If we go back in imagination to the condition of these 
churches as they were left when the Reformation began, it may 
safely be affirmed that there was not at that time, there never had 
been, and there is never likely to be again, anything in the world 
that could at all compare with our English churches. There 
never has been an area of anything like equal extent so im- 
measurably rich in works of art such as were then to be found 

1 We find the following in Lubke's History of Sculpture : " In England, M'here his- 
torical and political feeling are so highly developed, we should expect above all a 
monumental art. But just as little as the English have taste or talent for higher his- 
torical painting, have they been able to develop an important plastic art. There is 
no lack of monuments of their great men ; but they are throughout so unsuccessful, so 
devoid of style, yet at the same time so completely without any vigorous conception 
of nature, that we are inclined to doubt if they possess any higher plastic talent." But 
this is mild in comparison with the utterances of Leighton (Sir Frederick), Alma 
Tadema, and other shining lights of the artistic world at the convention of " Arts and 
Crafts " held in London last November. The speakers, all artists of more or less dis- 
tinction, asserted and deplored the insensibility — the deadness — of the English people 
as a whole to every form of art, and their incapacity to discriminate between good 
and bad art. 

Protestantism and Art. 2S? 

within the four seas. The prodigious and incalculable wealth 
stored up in the churches of this country in the shape of sculp- 
ture, glass, needlework, sepulchral monuments in marble, alabaster, 
and metal — the jewelled shrines, the precious MSS. — their bind- 
ings, the frescoes and carved work, the vestments and exquisite 
vessels in silver and gold, and all the quaint and dainty and 
splendid productions of an exuberant artistic appetite, and an 
artistic passion for display, which were to be found not only in the 
great religious houses, but dispersed more or less in every parish 
church in England, constituted such an enormous aggregate of 
precious forms of beauty as fairly baffles the imagination when we 
attempt to conceive it. There are lists of the church goods, i.e., of 
the contents of churches, by the thousands, not only in the six- 
teenth century, but in the fourteenth ; there they are for any one to 
read ; and, considering the smallness of the area and the poverty 
of the people, I say again that the history of the world has nothing 
to show which can for one moment be compared with our English 
churches as they were to be found when the spoilers were let loose 
upon them. Well ! We all know that a clean sweep was made of 
the contents of these churches. The locusts devoured all. But 
the fabrics remained — the fabrics have remained down to our time 
— they are, as it were, the glorious framework of the religious life 
of the past."^ 

It remains to be added that further demolition of fane and 
sacred symbol marked the triumphant progress of the Calvinists 
during the great rebellion. The sword of the Puritan was edged 
with as keen a fanaticism as the scymitar of the Mussulman. The 
Long Parliament, when it relaxed from the more serious business 
of massacreing the Irish and murdering witches, seems to have 
given the last touch to the work of the Iconoclasts.^ Assuming 
regal power, it issued orders for the demolishing of all images, 
altars and crucifixes, which act would imply that some relics of 
the old religion still survived. They had been hidden, perhaps, 
or escaped because they were in out-of-the-way places. " The 
zealous Sir Robert Harley," says Hume (to whom the execution 
of these orders was committed), " removed all crosses even out of 
street and market, and from his abhorrence of that superstitious 
figure, would not anywhere allow one piece of wood or stone to 
lie over another at right angles." The Root and Branch men 

1 " The Coming of the Friars, and other historic essays," by the Rev. Augustus 
Jessop, D.D., 1889. 

2 The era of the Long Parliament was that, perhaps, which witnessed the greatest 
number of executions for witchcraft. Three thousand persons are said to have penshed 
during the continuance of the sittings of that body by legal execution, independently 
of summary deaths at the hands of the mo\i.— Chambers's Encydopcedia. 

256 Americmi Catholic Quarterly Review, 

were now riding the whirlwind and guiding the storm. Canter- 
bury and other cathedrals were further purged by acts of Parlia- 
ment. Litchfield had undergone a siege and bombardment ; Lin- 
coln escaped, though the bishop's palace was burned down. West- 
minster, which had suffered least of any, because the two cities, 
London and Westminster, had always adhered to the Parliamentary 
cause, was only turned into a barrack where the soldiers contented 
themselves by breaking up the organ, dining regularly on the 
communion table and, dressed in surplices, playing hounds and 
hare in the aisles. 

In passing from England to the Continent, we find the " Reforma- 
tion " growing more radical in doctrine and more destructive in 
deed. The destroyers were now infuriated mobs. Luther him- 
self was, perhaps, the most conservative, although the most vitu- 
perative of all the " Reformers," and no Iconoclast. He looked on 
the sacred figures in the churches with an indifferent, not a hostile, 
eye, and he was devoted to music and hymnody — a quality in 
him which has borne fruit in all the Lutheran countries — but the 
movement which he led was instinct with Iconoclasticism from the 
beginning, and in that direction quickly passed beyond his control. 
During his seclusion in Wartburg, one of his disciples, Karlstadt, 
inflamed the common people in Saxony by his denunciation of 
idolatry. The usual consequences followed. Frenzied crowds 
broke into the churches and destroyed the works of art. Luther, 
on learning this, hastened from his retreat, where he had been 
lying perdti, and, by the exercise of his authority and the eloquence 
of his rebukes, put a stop to Karlstadt's crusade and suppressed, 
for a time, the fanaticism of his followers. The Anabaptist, 
Munzer, took up the torch which Karlstadt had let fall, and set 
several of the German states, including all upper Germany, aflame 
with his wild doctrines and rabid exhortations. The peasant in- 
surrection, which he instituted and led, was the blackest episode 
in the history of the Protestant movement of that country ; and 
church wrecking and idol smashing were the least of the outrages 
perpetrated by the fanatics.^ When the insurrection was suppressed 
and Munzer beheaded, many of his followers took refuge in the Low 
Countries and Westphalia, where they continued to propagate their 
political and religious notions. Two of their prophets, one from 
Haarlem and one from Leyden, settled in the imperial city of Miin- 
ster, where these zealots made many converts. The sect attempted 
more than once to get possession of the place ; but at last, calling 
in secretly their brethren from Holland, they arose at night in 

1 No such insurrection, so widespread, so sanguinary, and so ruthless in its ven- 
geance had ever before disquieted Germany as that which marked the close of the 
year 1524. — Encyclopcedia Britannica. 

Protestantism and Art. 2^7 

great tumult, seized the public buildings, created a panic among 
the people, who fled in terror before the frantic multitude of 
strangers that howled as they charged through the streets, and 
who took the sleeping citizens as much by surprise as the Greeks 
did the sleeping Trojans. The inevitable result followed. The 
contents of all the churches in Miinster and the surrounding 
country were speedily reduced to ashes, and after a while the 
churches themselves devoted to destruction, because Boccold, the 
prophet and leader, phophesied that whatever was highest on 
earth should be brought low, and the churches were the loftiest 
buildings of the city ! Somehow they escaped, notwithstanding. 

In the Netherlands, or Holland, as we say now, where not a 
few of the followers of Munzer took refuge, the most radical Cal- 
vinistic doctrines prevailed, and consequently the frenzy of image- 
breaking fiercely raged. Between the " Reformation " and the wars 
that grew out of the " Reformation" in that country, all pre-" Refor- 
mation " art was well-nigh swept away. There was an endless store 
of it, for the Dutch were a gifted people in the ages of faith. But 
almost all perished. " We shall never," says a learned contem- 
porary writer, " indeed, possess more than scraps and fragments of 
information about the earliest Dutch painters, those of the fifteenth 
and early sixteenth centuries, for their works and their very names 
perished in the frightful and disastrous confusion of the Reforma- 
tion, the religious wars and the struggle with Spain." ^ It is 
impossible, the writer goes on to say, to do more than guess what 
the world lost by the Iconoclastic movement in Holland in the 
sixteenth century. A common oblivion seems to have swallowed 
up the names of the artists and their productions as well as the 
names of the incendiaries who made a tabula rasa of the country 
as far as the Church was concerned. To this a single observation 
may be added : The sculptors and their works shared the fate of the 
painters and their works. Lubke, in his " History of Sculpture," 
fails to mention a single marble or bronze, a carved or molten 
image, in all Holland,, or the name of a Dutch sculptor of the 
fifteenth or sixteenth century. 

What happened in that part €>f the Netherlands we now call 
Belgium is described by Motley in one of his most eloquent 
passages.^ We extract so^me sentences, but the whole chapter 
should be read : 

" The Netherlands possessed an extiaordinary number of churches and monasteries. 
Their exquisite architecture and elaborate decoration had been the earliest indication 
of intellectual culture displayed in the country 

1 Les chefs d'ceuvre du Miiste Royal d' Amsterdam, par A. Bredius, Traduction 
Frangaise, par Emile Michel. 

•'' Rise of the Dutch Republic, vol. i., chap. 7. Motley, though he depicts in vivid 
colors the desti-uction, does his best to excuse the authors of it. 
VOL. XIV. — 17 

258 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

" All that science could invent, all that art could embody, all that mechanical inge- 
nuity could dare, all that wealth could lavish— all gathered round these magnificent 

" . . . . Many were filled with paintings from a school which had precedence in 
time and merit over its sister nurseries of art in Germany. All were peopled with 
statues. All were filled with profusely adorned chapels 

" . . . . And now, for the space of only six or seven days and nights, there raged a 
storm by which all these treasures were destroyed. Nearly every one of these temples 
was rifled of its contents. Art must forever weep over this bereavement 

« The mob rose in the night in Antwerp and began by wrecking the great cathedral 
church of Our Lady, and before morning they had sacked thirty churches within the 

"A troop of harlots, snatching waxen tapers from the altars, stood around the 
destroyers and lighted them at their work 

"They destroyed seventy chapels, forced open all the chests of treasure, covered 
their own squalid attire with the gorgeous robes of the ecclesiastics, and burned the 
splendid missals and manuscripts. 

" .... A colossal and magnificent group of the Saviour crucified between two 
thieves adorned the principal altar. The statue of Christ was wrenched from its 
principal place .... while the malefactors, with bitter and blasphemous irony, were 
lift on high." 

The havoc, as Motley calls it, began in Antwerp. The Calvin- 
istic mob rose in the night and first gutted the great Cathedral — 
the Church of our Lady. Before morning they had sacked thirty 
churches within the walls. " Two days and nights longer the 
havoc raged unchecked through all the churches of Antwerp and 
the neighboring villages. Hardly a statue or picture escaped de- 
struction. The number of churches desecrated has never been 
counted. In the single province of Flanders four hundred were 

sacked In an hour the convent of Marchiennes, the most 

beautiful abbey in Flanders, was laid in ruins Pictures, 

statues, organs, chalices of silver and gold, lamps, censers, vest- 
ments glowing with pearls, rubies, and precious stones, were de- 
stroyed or stolen." Similar scenes took place in Valenciennes, 
Tournay, and Ghent. Great, indeed, was the havoc, but the incen- 
diaries were interrupted at Anchin, where they were attacked and 
dispersed. Limburg, Luxemburg, and Namur thus escaped the 
terrible visitation. Flanders was then, as it is to-day, a Catholic 
country at bottom ; and this explains why many glorious speci- 
mens of early Flemish art may still be seen, some there, but many 
more in foreign collections, whither they found their way to save 
them from the dangers which threatened them at home.^ 

1 One of Michael Angelo's noblest works, a statue of the Blessed Virgin, with the 
infant Saviour, is in the Cathedral at Bruges. The hospital there is adorned with ex- 
quisite religious paintings from the hand of Hans Memling. The famous work of the 
brothers Van Eyck, the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, or the Agnes Dei, or at least 
the better part of the picture, is in St. Bavon's in Ghent. The Calvinistsof that place 
wanted to give it to Queen Elizabeth. — (See Early Flemish Painters^ Crowe and Ca- 

Protestantism and Art, 250 

The epidemic of image breaking fell on Switzerland in 1529, in 
which year the cantons that followed the teachings of Zwingli 
abolished altars, images and organs. In any case these were now 
superfluous, for religious service in the churches was reduced to 
extemporaneous prayers and extemporaneous sermons — both, it 
is hardly necessary to remark, of inordinate length. Woltmann 
and Woermann, in their *' History of Painting," say: " Many of 
Holbein's religious paintings must have perished in the Icono- 
clastic mania which fell upon Basle in 1529, but those that remained 
sufficed to reveal his greatness." 

Identical, or, correctly speaking, more lurid scenes were wit- 
nessed in France. There is, in fact, a dreary similitude, a servile 
imitativeness, in the acts of Iconoclasts of every age and clime. 
But the Huguenots are at least entitled to the palm for outdoing 
all others of their day. Whether because their hatred of idolatry 
came direct from a Frenchman, or because of the more inflam- 
mable nature of the Gaul, they wielded torch and sledge-hammer 
with more deadly effect than even the German Anabaptists, and 
on a much wider scale. From them came the spirit which pos- 
sessed the " Reformation " in Holland and the doctrines which its 
apostles propagated there. '* Wherever the Huguenots prevailed," 
says Hume, "the images were broken, the altars pillaged, the 
churches demolished, the monasteries consumed with fire." Later, 
the Jacobin followed the track of the Huguenot, destroying much 
of what had remained. Between them so little escaped that the 
German authorities quoted above open the seventh chapter of their 
** History of Painting" with the statement: "How much or how 
little of the real genius of the French nation was expressed by her 
early painters it is hard to tell, for the storms of revolution dealt 
more disastrously with the ancient art in France than in almost 
any other land." 

In Scotland the campaign was appropriately initiated by John 
Knox. In Perth one Sunday he preached a fierce sermon against 
the idolatry of the Mass which fired the rabble, who proceeded 
straightway to wreck the churches and monasteries of that city, 
and did wreck them before the dawn of the second day. From 
Perth the wild contagion spread. The ** Congregation " took uo 
the word, and in a short time masses of blackened ruins marked 
the sites of the cathedrals and monastic houses. Even the great 
abbey of Scone, where the kings of Scotland were crowned from 
time immemorial, was laid in ashes. The holy places, of which 
there were many, were defiled. The native incendiaries escaped 
the parricidal guilt of demolishing Melrose, because it had already 
been burned down by the English. Its lofty, though broken, 
arches and massive walls will long perpetuate the memory of that 

26o American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

insensate sacrileg-e. The historical student may well think that 
one place at least would have been spared — lona — the primitive 
seat of learning and civilization, founded a thousand years before 
by St. Columbkille and his associate monks from Ireland, to whom 
Scotland is indebted, not only for her very name, but for all that 
makes her early history worth perusing. But lona shared the 
fate of all other monastic establishments. The ruthless and rapa- 
cious nobles, headed by Argyll, were worse than the city mobs, 
for the latter were impelled by blind fanaticism, while greed, and 
revenge springing from hereditary feuds, were the inspiring mo- 
tives of the former. No feeling of nationality, no reverence for 
antiquity, served to protect those noble monuments, consecrated 
though they were by saintly and heroic names and traditions, 
going back to the very limit of historic time. In compensation 
for all that, the Scotchman can now behold the huge form of John 
Knox on his pillar, towering spectre-like in the grimy atmosphere 
of Glasgow, and darkly overshadowing the whole mount of the 
Necropolis.^ The rapidity and thoroughness with which the Scotch 
** Reformers " performed their Godly tasl^ is well summed up in 
three lines by a great poet, who sometimes, as in this instance, 
falls into puerility and bathos. Wordsworth, in the *' Excursion/' 
calls them 

♦' Godly men, who swept from Scotland, in a flame of zeal. 
Shrine, altar, image and the massy piles 
That harbored them." 

Nor was the Iconoclastic movement limited to what may be 
called Protestant territory, or territory partly Catholic and partly 
Protestant. Catholic countries, too, felt its force. In this, as in 
so many other things, Ireland was a hapless victim. The invader 
it was that fired her temples, as the Persians fired those of Greece, 
and the Moslems those of Eastern Christendom. It is true that 
when Henry the Eighth suppressed the monasteries he found the 
Irish chieftains just as greedy for spoils as the Anglo-Norman 
barons. In fact, he enlisted the concurrence, or at least the acqui- 
escence, of both classes in the enterprise, by giving them rich gifts 

1 The GJasgow Presbyterians are no longer prejudiced against images. In No- 
vember, 1877, after visiting the cathedral, a Gothic church of the olden time, justly 
celebrated,, the writer directed his steps towards another church in the vicinity which 
he took t©.be ^ Catholic church, because marble statues of heroic size of the twelve 
Apostles, St Peter with his keys and St, Paul with his sword at the head of them, 
stood oa the roof. On coming up to the church he discovered that it was a church of 
the United Presbyterians. 

Dr. Talmage, in a sermon delivered on the 28th of October, took the " Divine 
Mission of Pictures " as his subject, and spoke eloquently of the spirit of Pope Greg- 
ory the Second's letter to the Iconoclastic emperor, Leo the Isaurian, oa the salutary 
uses of sacred pictures. 



Protestantism and Art. 26 1 

out of the confiscated lands. The result, of course, was the decay 
and ruin of the abbeys and kindred edifices. The churches and 
cathedrals lived to a later day, but many of them were demolished 
during the Elizabethan and Cromwellian wars. The few that sur- 
vive were taken from their owners and handed over to Protestants, 
who hold them to this day. Altered as they were to suit the new 
form of worship, they are but the skeletons of their former selves; 
but they are indebted for their preservation, so far as they have 
been preserved, to the change of ownership. These and a number 
of the round towers are the only ecclesiastical structures that have 
escaped the all but universal wreck ; and of the latter only a few 
are found in their original condition. Ireland, however, is studded 
with magnificent ruins, not a few of which, like Cormac's Chapel 
on the rock of Cashel, antedate the coming of Strongbow and 
Henry the Second, and these, taken in connection with the round 
towers and the groups of small stone-roofed churches still extant, 
though in ruins, prove that the island had an architecture of her 
own, which was as purely original as her matchless metal work, her 
illuminated manuscripts and sculptured crosses. All the way from 
Derry to Donegal, from Mayo to Armagh, from Clare to Wicklow, 
are found the remains of abbeys, friaries, priories, and churches, 
some of which, like those on the rock of Cashel and in Cong and 
Sligo and Kilmallock (ancient capital of the Desmonds), show ex- 
quisite architectural forms and rich sculptural ornamentation. The 
pari'sh churches throughout the land were also demolished during 
the Cromwellian and subsequent priest-hunting times, and in their 
moss-covered stones the rising generation finds sermons little in 
accord with the peace of the forty generations who sleep in the 
surrounding churchyards. The ruins of castles and donjon towers 
may also be seen, and humbler but sadder ruins, which have no 
background of antiquity and are touched with no beauty. Coming 
to this, one is seized with the thought that descanting on archi- 
tectural ruins in the presence of the moral ruins that cast their 
darker shadows over hill and valley, is irrelevant dilettantism and 
almost mockery. The conquerors laid the polity, the jurispru- 
dence, the literature, the language, and the industries of the people 
in ruins. They stripped the Celt of all his worldly possessions 
They created a void wherein for long intervals nothing is visible 
but the disjecta membra of a mutilated nationality. They attempted 
to lay Irish human nature itself in ruins by dooming the Catholic 
to perpetual poverty, serfdom, and ignorance. The Invincible, the 
Dynamiter, the Moonlighter, are Frankensteins fashioned by those 
veritable miscreators. With pleasure let it be admitted that for 
sixty years they have been trying with more or less expedition — 
chiefly less — to abate the entailed evils of the penal laws; and for 

262 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

more than a decade to reform the cruel and corrupted feudal 
tenures which worked invariably for the expulsion or extermina- 
tion of the tillers of the soil. 

This brief survey will be fitly finished by turning for a moment 
to Rome. Far away as the Pontifical city is from Saxony and 
Switzerland, from Wittenburg and Zurich, she yet was scathed and 
wrecked by the terrible tramontane that swept down the whole 
length of the peninsula. Rome was the theatre of perhaps the 
most deplorable incident of the whole widespread campaign against 
religious art, because that city more abounded in works of high 
art than any other place. Its siege in 1527 by the troops of the 
Emperor Charles the Fifth, under the Constable de Bourbon, was 
followed by the most shocking outrages which a licentious soldiery 
can inflict on a defenceless community. Happily, any further 
allusion to these unmentionable thing^s is not called for here. Suf- 
fice it to say that the troops pillaged church and palace indis- 
criminately, beginning with St. Peter's and the Vatican. After 
despoiling princes and prelates, bankers and merchants, of every- 
thing within sight or search, they put the victims of their robbery 
to the torture to extort confession of hidden treasure, and subse- 
quently held them to heavy ransom. They threw into the same 
melting pot altar vessels from the days of Constantine and drinking 
cups fresh from the chisel of Benvenuto Cellini, for the metal was 
the one thing they were capable of appreciating. They made 
booty of the jewels, vestments, tapestries, laces, embroideries of 
the altars — in short, of all that allured their cupidity or excited 
their admiration. Nor did they stop there. The German-Luth- 
eran contingents of the Imperial army, which were much the largest 
part of it, were filled with the same holy horror of images as their 
brethren in the North. To break or burn pictures or statues was 
a labor of love with them ; and, accordingly, they proceeded to 
destroy altar-pieces and graven images wherever they found them, 
and they were easily found. They destroyed the painted windows 
of the Vatican designed by Raphael and executed by Gulielmo da 
Marsiglia, the greatest master of glass painting that has ever lived. 
They effaced several heads of Raphael's frescoes in the Stanze, and 
doubtless would have left Rome as bare as a sectarian conventicle, 
or the whitewashed interiors spoken of by Froude, if their occu- 
pation of the city had lasted much longer. They did more damage 
during their stay of two months than their ancestors, the Goths 
and Vandals, had done, from Alaric down.' 

^ Les places devant toutes les ^glises ^talent gonch^es des ornements d'autel, des 
reliques, et de toutes les choses sacr^es, que les soldats jetaient dans la rue, apres en 
avoir arrach6 Tor et I'argent. Les lutheriens allemands, joignant le fanatisme reli- 
gieux ^ la cupidite, s'effor9aient de montrer leur mepris pour les pompes de I'^glise 

Protestantism and Art. 


It is unnecessary to pursue this quest. The same phenomena 
appeared whenever and wherever the " Reformation " prevailed, even 
temporarily. All Europe now became involved in what are called 
religious wars, complicated with dynastic struggles. The muses 
may glorify heroes and sing the fierce joys of battle before the war 
begins and also when it is over, but while the clash of arms is 
heard they are as silent as the laws which should protect the 
people. The wars that grew out of the " Reformation " failed to 
touch a single one of the sacred nine with any sentiment but 
mute sorrow. There is no epos of that long, protracted, weary 
struggle, nor is there any monumental record of it in pictorial, 
plastic, or architectural art. The era of church building naturally 
closed when the era of church burning began. There is one excep- 
tion to this : Though the ark of the Church was buffeted by a 
fiercer storm of *' felon winds " than any previously encountered, 
yet, as if to demonstrate that while she lives art will live, the lofty 
dome of St. Peter's arose at this time on the Vatican hill. If that 
peerless shrine has an expression and intellectual meaning that 
gives it a unique aspect, outside and inside, and that distinguishes 
it from all other architectural wonders, it is that of tranquil joy 
blended with Olympian grandeur, qualities which the exalted 
imagination immediately recognizes as meet attributes of the 
Church, no longer militant, but now and forever triumphant; no 
gloom or shadow, but the brightness of day in the vast spaces, 
lateral and longitudinal, of the interior, the intersection of which is 
marked by the tomb of the Apostles, which thrice sacred spot is 
overhung by that radiant dome, sky-born, verily descended from 
the orbed Heaven, of which it is the symbol, and which brought 
down with it the airs of Heaven ; everywhere and in everything 
that largeness of style, that breadth of effect, which nature has im- 
parted to mountain forms and landscape distances seen from moun- 
tain heights ; the whole lapped in the elysium of a climate of its 
own, the grateful temperature of which is the same in all seasons. 
Well might it have inspired the meteor bard of hostile creed and 
alien tongue with a hymn of praise worthy of the Hebrew Psalmist. 
Yet the hundred years it took to build was a hundred years of de- 
cadence, as the statues within and without testify ; their inferiority 
to the architectural design, as well as their incongruity, is obvious. 

romaine, et de profaner ce que respectaient les peuples qu'ils nommaient idolatres. 
Cependant, apres le premier jour de fureur, dans lequel ils auraient voulu ^gorger 
tous ceux qui avaient porte les armes, les Allemands ne tirerent plus l'ep6e ; .ils I'adou- 
cirent meme tellement que leurs prisonniers purent le racheter d'eux ^pr^s bon 
compte. D^s lors ils ne songerent plus qu' h boire, ^ ramasser de I'argent, et k d6- 
truire les tableaux et les statues qui leur paraissaient des monuments d'idolatne.— (Sis- 
mondi, Republiques Italiennes.) 

264 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Of course, this does not apply to Michael Angelo's " Pieta," than 
which no group of sculpture in existence, not even the ** Lao- 
coon," is so full of ideal pathos. 

Had the work of the sixteenth century Iconoclast been con- 
fined to the abolition of outward things, art would probably have 
risen bright and buoyant from her ashes. There is hardly one of 
the existing mediaeval cathedrals that has not been wholly or 
partially destroyed by fire at one time or another ; but down to a 
comparatively late date each new reconstruction was an improve- 
ment almost always on its predecessor, because the ideas and 
material conditions which prevailed when the original structures 
were founded lasted to the " Reformation," and art tradition was 
till then unbroken, while art herself continued to expand with the 
years. To tear down the golden branch, however heavily laden 
with fruit and flower, does not neccessarily kill the tree, much less 
blight the whole academic grove : 

" Primo avulso non deficit alter." 

The innate powers that dwell, in the penetrating roots and the 
lordly trunk suddenly sprout out again in another golden branch, 
having all the beauty and mystic virtue of that which it replaces. 
The golden age of Athenian art immediately succeeded the over- 
throw and expulsion of the Persian invaders, who had laid the 
temples of Greece in ashes, and left nothing visible on the summit 
of the Acropolis but a heap of ruins, a mountain on a mountain. 
Yet in a few short years the austere deity, who smote the im- 
pious hordes of barbarians with terror and the madness of terror, 
was able to look down again on her beloved city of the Triple 
Crown, now more glorious than before — luminous with the aure- 
ole of all Olympus — from the new and diviner temple in which she 
was enshrined. The ruins of the Parthenon, sculptural and archi- 
tectural, still awaken divine emotion in Christian souls, idols and 
of the house of idols though they were. The temples now rose in 
greater splendor, and the great Homeric statue of Jupiter at 
Olympia, with that of Athene just alluded to, also colossal, both 
of ivory and gold, the masterpieces of Phidias and of all ancient 
plastic art, rose contemporaneously. Fire and sword may destroy 
works of art, but they are powerless to destroy art itself, which is 
an organic thing. To reach that consummation, to extirpate it at 
the root — where only it can be extirpated — a third factor must be 
called into action, the spiritual element in the soul, and this Cal- 
vinism did. Hence in Protestant Europe art practically died out. 
The religious houses were suppressed. The monks were home- 
less wanderers.. The abbeys were secularized ; and when not 
pulled down turned into private mansions; dwellings for the 

Protestantism and Art, 


favorites upon whom they were bestowed, and who hung their 
chambers with the vestments and tapestries of the altars. The 
secular clergy of all classes were impoverished by the spoliations 
they were subjected to. The irreverence of the demoralized and 
brutalized multitude helped to complete the wreck which the fa- 
natics had made. The nobles and courtiers, among whom the 
houses and lands of the Church and the riches of the shrines 
were distributed, could not in the nature of the things be patrons 
of art, and no other class had the means of exercising patronage. 
There was no longer any incentive to the production of art, and 
no class or institution to sustain the artist. There was no lonf?er 
employment for him, and no hope of employment. He belonged 
to the world before the flood and found himself an alien and ana- 
chronism. He therefore disappeared from the scene to reappear 
in another age. But, oh ! how fallen, how changed ! 

Of all the religious movements in the history of the race, the 
" Reformation " is the only one that has proved utterly sterile on the 
side of art. It has produced no new architecture, no new paint- 
ing or sculpture, no new music, not even a new ritual. Whatever 
it possesses of aesthetic quality in its temples and services, is de- 
rived from the Church. Israel, standing in the midst of idolatrous 
nations, was forbidden the use of images ; but Solomon built the 
temple of the God of Israel on Mount Zion, for no subtlety of 
imagination or magical rite can pervert architectural forms which 
are geometrical figures into likenesses of living things or super- 
natural personalities; and yet inside in the " most holy house" 
were the two cherubims of " image work," standing in the light 
of their golden wings twenty cubits long, extending from wall to 
wall of that house, and typifying, if we may be permitted to say so, 
the bright cloud that one day was to overshadow Mount Tabor. 
There were also graved cherubims on the walls, and wrought cher- 
ubims on the veil of blue and purple, and crimson and fine linen ; 
and the molten images of oxen supporting the Molten Sea — so 
inevitable is the affinity of powerful supernatural ideas for form 
and color. But outside the walls of the temple in Jerusalem, in 
Judea, throughout the land of the Twelve Tribes, no image was 
to be seen, no household god under any roof, no monumental 
stone on any high place or haunted hollow. The danger of idol- 
atry was imminent, and the fear of it intense and all pervading 
during the brief hour of Israel's prime. Consequently there was 
no art, and no place or function for art, among the Jews ; but 
the stream of aesthetic feeling, dammed on one side, flowed out 
with more power and volume on that which was open to it, and 
accordingly music and song became the chief mediums of expres- 
sion of that people. The harp of David was consecrated to the 

266 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

Lord, and thrilled with sublimer strains than Apollo's lute. He 
clad his lofty prayers in the concord of sweet sounds. All primi- 
tive music was religious music. Christian psalmody had its 
origin in the temple. The Jew, debarred from painting and 
sculpture, has ever since, especially since the Dispersion, found 
compensation in the art which borrows nothing from the external 
world but the vibrations of the molecules of the atmosphere. 
Even Mohammedanism, fiercely fanatical as it is, and abhorrent of 
the image, has developed an art of its own possessing nobleness 
and individuality, and distinguished also by original architectural 
features and a fertility and brilliancy of ornamentation never 
surpassed. As in the case of Judaism, from which it sprang, 
architecture was not forbidden to the Arab faith. Caliphs and 
commanders of the faithful, and their lieutenants, hastened to build 
palaces and mosques in the principal cities of the kingdoms they 
subjugated. Many of these buildings still exist, and rank high in 
the category of architectural creations. Witness the mosques of 
Cairo, the Jussuf Mosque in Tunis, the Pearl Mosque of Agra, 
the Tajh Mahal, the Mosque of Omar, the Dome of the Rock 
in Jerusalem, the Alhambra. The interiors were profusely decor- 
ated in the bright colors of glass mosaics, with geometrical pat- 
terns of inexhaustible variety, endless interlacing, and even conven- 
tional animal and floral forms; and the windows of many of them 
are of painted glass, and still shine like jewels.^ Their system of 
ornamentation penetrated deeply into all industries, producing 
beautiful tissues and exquisite objects of all kinds, in metal, clay, 
and ivory. 

The shrines of Ceylon and Japan show that the mighty Buddha, 
who really was a reformer, has a soul for art as well as for the 
whole sentient creation. How long his powers will last is another 
question. For a form of Protestantism in the guise of modern 
civilization has entered his dominions. The Mikado is suppress- 
ing monasteries and appropriating their estates. The court ladies 
have discarded the national costume and wear the fabrications of 
Worth. The effect of this European invasion will certainly be the 
extinction of the national genius and the degradation of the 
national character. Protestantism, as far as art is concerned, is 
manifestly not a creative, but a destructive and petrifying prin- 
ciple. It ploughs with the ploughshare of ruin, and sows the fur- 
rows with salt. 

If art was " quenched like fire " in Protestant countries, its lustre 
was dimmed in Catholic countries. The mephitic blasts from the 

1 The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is especially celebrated for its windows. 
There is no doubt that Arab art sprang from Byzantine art, though the pointed arch, 
it is said, is of Arab origin. 


Protestantism and Art. 267 

banks of the Elbe and of the Lake of Zurich blew chill and 
heavy on the banks of the Arno and the Tiber. Protestantism 
entered Italy in more than one form, and, according to Sismondi, 
made considerable progress among the literati. We know that 
Clement Marot and Calvin found asylum there when they fled 
from France. We have seen what the German Lutherans accom- 
plished in Rome ; and the moral effect of their work there, and 
in the other Italian cities which they entered, could not have been 
other than disastrous. The face of heaven was now overcast by 
the spirit of the age, which was the spirit of the " Reformation;" 
and as the heavenly hierarchies grew faint in the skies, they faded 
out of art. Fortune seemed to smile on the enemies of the 
Church, and the worldly, who are always a great multitude, are 
seduced by her smile, and follow her banner.^ Doubt shook 
many minds, and where doubt failed to penetrate, despondency 
entered. Inspiration, if it had not entirely vanished, was a rare 
visitant in the studio. Cold imitation was substituted for invention. 
" We paint what we love," says Taine; and we love and can love 
only what we believe in as really existing. The loss of faith was 
the cause of the extinction of art in one region ; the decline of faith 
was the cause of the decline of art in another. But many second- 
ary causes contributed to the decline of Italian art; the most 
formidable of which was the succession of the bloody wars of 
France on the one side, and Germany and Spain on the other, 
in which the Papacy and the minor states were almost always in- 
volved. The discovery of the new route to India impoverished 
the maritime cities, indeed all the cities, and they have never 
recovered from the blow. The fall of the central republics, Flor- 
ence, Sienna, Lucca, Genoa, followed. Venice alone remained ; 
but she, too, was losing her oriental trade, the great source of her 
wealth and splendor. The Spaniards became masters, though not 
protectors, of the country, which was scourged for long years by 
corsairs from without and brigands from within, who carried on 
their depredations with impunity. Freedom, commerce, and indus- 
try were overthrown ; poverty overspread the land, paralysis fell 
on the body politic, and lethargy on the Church Art could no 
longer flourish in such a dismal and chaotic world. Independent 
Italy consisted merely of Venice and the Papal states. But at 
this very time Wisdom descended again on the Papacy in tongues 

1 "And I who straightway looked beheld a flag, 
Which, whirhng round so rapidly 
That it no pause obtained; and following came 
Such a long train of spirits, I should ne'er 
Have thought that death so many had despoiled." 

Gary's ''Dante,'' Canlo third. 

268 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

of fire. The Papacy arose to the full height of its spiritual stature. 
Its creative energies, which had slumbered during the reign of the 
lotus-eating Pontiffs of the Renaissance, started into new life and 
worked as in the days of Gregory the Seventh and Innocent the 
Third. The Tiara shone from a troubled sky, a guiding star, on 
the nations emerging from the deluge of the " Reformation." The 
revival of religion spread far and fast, and, in obedience to the 
eternal law, was followed by the revival of art. 


THE novel of Mrs. Humphrey Ward, " Robert Elsmere," has 
excited very great interest, both in England and in the 
United States. We would rather leave to more competent hands 
the pronouncing on the literary merits of- the book. They must 
be of no mean quality if we are to take the sudden popularity 
which the book has acquired as a standard of real sterling worth. 
We presume, however, that the interest which it has commanded 
can be partly accounted for by the controversial portion of the 
book, if the one-sided argument made in favor of Rationalism and 
against orthodox Christianity can be graced with the name of 
controversy. In fact, we are free to confess to be at a loss to 
discover the intention of the gifted authoress in filling and inocu- 
lating her book with so much theological lore. We have a shrewd 
guess that she intended to make in favor of Christianity one of 
those arguments called ex absurdis. The reasons which commend 
such a guess to our minds, and which invest it with a very great 
probability in our eyes, are, first, the general tendency of the book 
and the conclusion which all fair-minded readers must draw from 
it. The general tendency of the book, that which gives it charm 
and attraction in the reader's sight, is the beauty of the life of the 
real Christian characters introduced in it and the general hateful- 
ness excited in them by the characters of infidels and Rationalists 
or worldly persons. Catharine, the real heroine of the book, is 
a charming character, not so much on account of her natural gifts, 
but because her life is the exemplification of a Christian who lives 
by faith. As a young girl, she accomplishes with scrupulous 
fidelity, earnestness and perseverance the difficult task imposed 

" Robert Elsmere " as a Controversial Novel. 269 

upon her by her dying father— that of being a prop and a stay to 
her widowed mother, and of bringing up her sisters in the Chris- 
tian faith and moraHty, and she adorns and fills this life-task with 
daily acts of most self-sacrificing benevolence. She is a model 
wife in spite of the great change which comes over her husband, 
and which is like the snapping of her very life, the ebbing away 
of her life-blood, filling her whole future life with unutterable 
anguish, trials which she bears with Christian fortitude and mag- 
nanimity, remaining true and faithful to her husband to the very 
end ; but clinging more steadfastly and more tenaciously to her 
living Saviour and God. 

Whatever beauty appears in the character of the hero himself, it 
comes to him inasmuch as he realizes the type of a Christian, both 
when a believer in the supernatural, as the rector of a parish, the 
originator and the centre of every humane and charitable deed, 
and when, having given up orthodox Christianity, he continues to 
be inspired by Christ, alas ! in his darkened vision no longer God, 
but at least the best, the grandest, the sublimest human realization 
of purity of character and purpose, of justice and of goodness. 

The characters in the novel representing modern infidelity and 
Rationalism are anything but attractive. And first, the squire, a 
bookworm, a half-crazy, intensely selfish man, who lets his ten- 
antry be oppressed by a drunken brute of a steward, and who con- 
descends to afford them some help and relief in their misery and 
wretchedness for no higher motive than to please the minister, 
whose faith he takes great delight in shaking and uprooting. 

The next cynical character is Langham, another Rationalist and 
infidel, who, in order to indulge in his misanthropic habits, gives 
up his tutorship in Oxford and behaves as a selfish brute to a poor 
innocent girl who has foolishly condescended to notice him. Grey 
is another Rationalist, of the world, and rather of the nonentity 
style, practically speaking. 

The other characters are of the common, worldly, everyday 
stamp of their class. Surely, if the authoress had intended to set off 
the Christian character in opposition to the infidel, and the result 
of the Christian faith in the lives of the real believer as contrasted 
with the effect of infidelity in the character of its upholders, with a 
view of emphasizing the saying of the Gospel, " from their fruit ye 
shall knr)w them," she could not have written a better apology of 
orthodox Christianity. 

That such must have been her intention appears also from the 
manner in which the upholders of Rationalism and their argu- 
ments are introduced. There is a hidden, silent, underlying some- 
thing which steals upon the reader and gradually takes possession 
of him, that Christianity has not much to say for itself, and that 

2/0 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

its historical evidence does not and cannot stand the test of criti- 
cism ; whereas, on the other hand, it seems to be taken for granted 
that the proof against it is not only complete and perfect, but abso- 
lutely invulnerable and unshaken. Mind you, you are not told so 
in any particular place, or in so many words, but the thing steals 
on you, and if you are not wide awake, takes possession of you. 
Here is a sample, taken at random : 

Elsmere tells Langham that he intends to take orders and to 
preach. Langham answers : 

" Well, after all," he said at last very slowly, " the difficulty lies 
m preaching anything. One may as well preach respectable my- 
thology as anything else." 

" What do you mean by mythology ?" asked Robert, hotly. 

" Simply ideas or experiences personified (that is, ideas which 
are vested with all the individual circumstances of persons who 
have them). I take it they are the subject-matter of all theologies." 

Robert answers and contends that Christian theology is a sys- 
tem of ideas made manifest in facts. Langham answers dryly, 
" How do you know they are facts ?" 

The young man takes up the challenge and the conversation 
resolves itself into a discussion of Christian evidences. Or, rather, 
" Robert held forth and Langham kept him going by an occasional 
remark which acted like the prick of a spur. The tutor's psycho- 
logical curiosity was soon satisfied. He declared to himself that 
the intellect had precious little to do with Elsmere's Christianity. 
He had got hold of all the stock apologetic arguments and used 
them, his companion admitted, with ability and ingenuity.'^ 

We are very much mistaken if such superciliousness on the part 
of Rationalists in treating the subject of Christian evidences, if such 
tone does not give the reader a decidedly mean idea of Chris- 
tianity and of its proofs. Then look at the interlocutors. They 
are represented as prodigies of intellectual acumen and sharpness, 
as wonders of erudition and of application, as consummate scholars, 
as individual geniuses, before whom all must necessarily sink into 
insignificance. Here are some words which Elsmere addresses to 
the squire : " I think we ought to understand one another, perhaps, 
Mr. Wendover," Robert said, speaking under a quick sense of 
oppression, but with his usual dignity and bright courtesy. "I 
know your opinions, of course, from your book ; you know what 
mine, as an honest man, must be from the position I hold. My 
conscience does not forbid me to discuss anything, only / am no 
match for you on points of scholarship, and I should just like to say, 
once for all, that to me, whatever else is true, the religion of Christ 
is true." 

In the conversation which gives the last blow to Robert's faith 

''Robert Elsmere'' as a Controversial Novel. 271 

in Christianity the same squire is introduced, and the defender of 
Christianity is, of course, only a young, Hberal Cathohc, a pale, 
small, hectic creature, the author of a remarkable collection of 
essays on mediaeval subjects, a Mr. Wishart. The latter makes an 
extravagant remark which catches the squire's attention, and an 
argument is entered into which becomes for a moment a serious 
trial of strength. What was said on both sides is not told us by 
the authoress, but the result, of course, is in favor of the giant and 
against the puny young Catholic, and is seen by the woeful effect 
it has on Elsmere. " As the talk went on the rector in the back- 
ground got paler and paler; his eyes, as they passed from the 
mobile face of the Catholic convert to the bronzed visage of the 
squire, got duller, more instinct with a slowly dawning despair." 

Now we argue : certainly the authoress of the book, in the love 
of fair play, which is the boast of Englishmen, could not have seri- 
ously meant to have represented a real bona fide controversy 
between orthodox Christianity and Rationalism, and then placed 
all the advantage in the genius, ability, scholarship and experience 
of the persons engaged in it all on one side. She could not cer- 
tainly have meant such a thing. She knew, of course, that when 
in a supposed controversy the advantage is all on one side, the 
other side's case must necessarily remain invulnerable and unas- 
sailable in the eyes of all honest men. 

But what may really prove our guess to be correct, that our 
authoress meant to make an argument, ex absurdis^ in favor of 
Christianity, is the necessarily weak nature of the reasons and 
grounds which are alleged by Rationalists against the evidences of 
Christianity, and which she puts and arranges with infinite skill 
and address. It is these arguments which shook the faith of Els- 
mere and caused it to totter and to fall that we intend to examine, 
not that they are anything new to scholars or theologians, but 
because they may have some show of power over minds that are 
untrained and unskilled in these matters, or on readers who pass 
too carelessly over a book and are unfit to pause and ponder over 
assertions which are made so categorically and which appear to be 
serious and to be fraught with some real meaning and import. 

To facilitate the understanding of the subject, we may remark 
that Christianity, being a system of truths embodied and incorpo- 
rated in a series of facts, must necessarily depend, as to its truth 
or falsehood, upon the value which is attached to such facts, and 
these in their turn upon the reliableness of human testimony, and 
must stand or fall as human testimony is proven to stand or to fall. 
For instance, the resurrection of our Blessed Lord is a fact which 
depends on the reliability of the source from which we have it, 
those who stand up as witnesses of the supposed fact. Hence the 

2^2 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

truth or falsehood of the series of facts upon which Christianity- 
rests, which make up, as it were, the whole Christianity, depends 
on two questions. The first is : What is the value of human testi- 
mony in general ? The second is : Are the facts of Christianity 
really supported by reliable and trustworthy testimony ? The first 
is the general thesis, the second is the application of the thesis to 
a particular order of facts. Our readers can see that the whole 
question here depends on the answer to the first problem : What is 
the value of human testimony ? Because, if no value is attached to 
such testimony, all the facts depending and resting upon its trust- 
worthiness must fall to the ground. Now, in the book which we 
are criticizing, all the efforts are directed against the general thesis, 
in shaking or explaining away the reliableness of human testi- 
mony, and the attack which rebounds on Christianity from such 
efforts must have its consequence on the whole science of history. 
The attack is. prepared most skilfully. In page 222 (Hurst & Co., 
N. Y.) Elsmere having told Langham that he is thinking of writing 
a historical book, the latter says : ** There is one thing that doesn't 
seem to have touched you yet, but you will come to it. To" my 
mind it makes almost the chief interest of history. It is just this : 
History depends on testimony. What is the nature and the value 
of testimony at given times ? In other words, did the man of the 
third century understand, or report, or interpret facts in the same 
way as the man of the sixteenth or the nineteenth ? And if not, 
what are the differences and what the deductions to be made from 
them, if any?" 

Elsmere answers : " It is enormously important, I grant — enor- 
mously," he repeated reflectively. 

" I should think it is," said Langham to himself as he rose, *^ the 
whole of orthodox Christianity is in it, for instance." 

Here the thesis is clearly stated in its general sense, though Els- 
mere does not fully realize its import, according to the general 
system of our authoress in representing the Christian disputants as 
always of a mental capacity much inferior to that of the opponents 
of Revelation. 

But in the second part of the book, page 350, the meaning of the 
question is more fully explained. " Testimony," says Mr. Wend- 
over, " like every other human product, has developed man's 
power of apprehending and recording what he sees and hears, has 
grown from less to more, from weaker to stronger, like any other 
of his faculties, just as the reasoning powers of the cave-dwellers 
have developed into the reasoning powers of a Kant." 

Let us examine carefully the above statements, after trying to 
define the exact meaning of the authoress, who has thrown a very 
great amount of confusion into them, whether purposely or from 

" Robert Elsmere " as a Controversial Novel. 273 

want of skill in handling philosophical subjects, we cannot very 
well decide. 

First, it is affirmed that man's power of apprehending and re- 
cording what he sees and hears has grown from less to more, from 
weaker to stronger. 

The object of such apprehending and recording seems to be very 
clearly pointed out, and yet it is not so. What one sees certainly 
appertains to an outward, external, sensible object. But what one 
hears does not necessarily imply a sensible object, because one 
may listen to a discussion of the highest metaphysical subjects and, 
if not well trained in such things, may not apprehend their im- 

Then there is a great difference, as regards truth and evidence, 
between what one himself sees and what he may hear from others. 
What one sees himself is evidenced to him by the testimony of his 
own eyes, whereas the truth and reliableness of what he hears de- 
pend on the knowledge and the veracity of the narrator. 

Again, there is a wide difference between apprehending what 
one sees and recording it. One may be in every way competent 
to see and ascertain an event, and yet may not be able to properly 
record it. 

All these different questions, therefore, should not be confounded 
together, but should be treated separately, speaking first of the 
power of apprehending what one sees and afterwards of the others. 
Now, this power is asserted by the squire to be progressive from 
less to more, as the powers of a cave-dweller have been developed 
into those of Kant We have not such exalted ideas of the 
reasoning powers of the latter philosopher as our authoress. We 
consider him as not much better than a skeptic and a sophist; and 
hence the contrast must necessarily lose upon our mind that force 
which our gifted authoress intended. We decline, also, to have 
anything to do with cave-dwellers or any such mysterious people, 
about whom neither the authoress nor we do know, or can know, 
very much. 

Limiting, then, our problem to outward, sensible facts, such as 
can be the object of our senses, and especially the eyes, and con- 
fining our inquiry to civilized times, we may put the question — 
Is it true that man's power of apprehending what he sees has 
grown from less to more, from weaker to stronger ? 

Reason and common sense must give a flat and unqualified de- 
nial to such a question. The reason is as simple as it is undeni- 
able. The eye of man was as good nineteen centuries ago as it is 
at the present day ; and if the object which it was to behold was an 
outward, external, sensible fact, we cannot make out any reason 
why it could not have seen it to its heart's content then as it can 
VOL. XIV. — 18 

2/4 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

now ; and why it could not place as much reliance on itself then 
as it does at present, the organ of vision being the same and the 
objects of a sensible nature, the relation between the organ and 
its object must be the same at all times and in all places. The 
testimony of man's eyes, then, cannot be subject to variation or 
progress from less to more, from weaker to stronger. Given all 
the conditions exacted by optics to realize the vision of an object, 
the testimony of the eye must be always the same, uniform, stable 
and unchangeable. 

We deny, then, that the testimony of the eye is variable and 
progressive and relative to time and space, both as to the faculty 
of observing and as to the reliability of its observation ; and the 
eye-witnesses of the early period of Christianity are entitled to the 
same confidence as the eyes of any or of all Rationalists put to- 
gether, provided that the two conditions which are absolutely 
necessary to render human testimony a criterion of truth be veri- 

These conditions, as every one knows, are, first, that the wit- 
nesses have really, unmistakably, and without any fear of decep- 
tion, observed the facts for which they vouch, and have acquired 
a subjective certainty about them. Secondly, that they state 
them truthfully and under such circumstances as to render any 
conspiracy for deception on their part utterly impossible. 

We are using the plural number, witnesses, because, though it 
might be contended, as it has been by some, that one witness is 
entitled to perfect confidence when those two conditions are real- 
ized, yet, to avoid all possible difificulty, we require for the absolute 
reliableness of human testimony a number of eye-witnesses; be- 
cause all human testimony, necessarily and originally, must start 
from those who have themselves observed the facts. 

There are infallible rules to ascertain when those two conditions 
have been complied with, and once that has been ascertained 
human testimony takes its rank among the criteria of truth, and 
must create a certainty about the facts it testifies to. The reason 
is, that if there could be a deception in such case, it would reflect 
upon God, the Creator and Ruler of the human family. If man 
is a social being, if he must live in society and fellowship with 
other men, if such society is realized principally in a mutual inter- 
change of ideas, of facts, of confidence and reliance, if all this is 
not limited to one generation of men, but embraces all generations, 
at all times and in all places, one generation handing over to the 
following generation the whole patrimony it received from a 
former one, together with the addition it has itself made, and this 
to another, it stands to reason that if human testimony, even when 
properly examined and sifted in every possible way, were open to 

" Robert Elsmere ''ma Controversial Novel 275 

mistake, to error, to deception, the bond keeping human society- 
together would be dissolved, there would no longer be a human 
family, the design of the Creator would miserably and wretchedly 
fail. We should then give up all historical certainty, we should 
abolish all possible intercourse among men, and fall back upon the 
savage and misanthropic state. 

We will not dwell at any great length upon the other two ques- 
tions, whether the power of apprehending and recording what one 
hears is variable or not. Those two questions ,depend upon the 
first, as all human testimony must of necessity fall back upon the 
eye-witness. Because, in order to yield our assent to what we 
hear, or to what certain records may testify, it is absolutely neces- 
sary to carefully and closely examine on what grounds the state- 
ments rest which we are called upon to believe ; and \{, after the 
proper examination and the most scrupulous inquiry, they turn 
out to be reliable and worthy of our confidence, it shall be found 
that they are supported by the testimony of eye-witnesses who 
were neither deceived themselves nor disposed to deceive others, 
and could not do it even if so inclined. 

Human testimony, therefore, in the last analysis resolves itself 
into that of the eye-witness, and it is and can be neither relative 
to time or place, nor progressive when its object is an outward, 
sensible, public fact ; and when accompanied with those two con- 
ditions spoken of, it is a perfectly reliable criterion of truth. 

But our authoress by her mouth-piece, the Squire, insists that it 
is progressive, and that it can be proven to be so by history and 
experience, and it is our duty to listen to the proof. '* What one 
wants is the ordered proof of this, and it can be got from history 
and experience." And to pave the way for such a proof, we are 
told that " to plunge into the Cliristian period, without having 
first cleared the mind as to what is meant in history and literature 
by the critical method, is to invite fiasco." 

We might demur against such condition, and insist on being 
satisfied with examining the credibiHty of human testimony ac- 
cording to reason or common sense, because either the critical 
method is founded on reason and common sense, and then it must 
be all the same to the authoress ; or it is not supported by those 
two requisites for a man to find out the truth, and then it ought to 
be spurned as worthless. But we will be over-indulgent for the 
time being, and study this great bug-bear in history and literature 
— the critical method. 

Pray, what is the critical method in history and literature? "In 
history it is the science of what is credible, in literature it is the 
science of what is rational." We begin to acquire some kind of 
respect for the critical method, for it promises wondrous things, 

2^6 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

yet we must request a little more light and beg of it to explain 
what is credible and what is rational, because without that expla- 
nation we are pretty much where we were before. Well, then, 
what is credible and what is rational ? 

We presume that none will dispute that a method is the manner 
of doing a thing, or of inquiring into a subject, according to cer- 
tain rules derived from principles applicable to the thing to be 
done or to the matter to be inquired into. In every method, 
therefore, there is a process directed by certain rules which are 
drawn from certain principles applicable to the matter in hand. 
How is a naturalist, for instance, to proceed in the investigation of 
some natural phenomenon ? What method shall he follow ? 
Surely the method of observation, which prescribes certain rules 
to be complied with: ist. a careful examination of the phenome- 
non by every experiment in his power, first by sight and other 
senses, then by means of instruments, the best adapted for the in- 
vestigation, then to confirm his results by experiment in the in- 
verse ratio when possible, and so forth. 

These rules are founded upon certain principles which any one 
may guess. Method, then, depends on rules, and rules originate 
in principles. The critical method, to usurp such a pompous title, 
must then proceed from certain rules in the investigation of its 
object, and these must be derived from certain principles applicable 
to and bearing upon the subject. It undertakes to give us rules 
to find out what is credible and what is rational. It must then 
have the monopoly of knowing what is credible and what is ra- 

How did it come by such a monopoly ? Who gave it such an 
exclusive right ? Where are the documents to prove it ? Such a 
claim, as the supporters of the critical method urge, is the very 
climax and sublimity of pretension. They set themselves up to 
teach mankind what is credible and what is incredible, what is 
rational and what is irrational, and assume in consequence of this 
modest claim that all such as prove restive to submit to such 
despotism and insolence are very low in the scale of intelligence, 
simply dupes, ready to gulp down any amount of the veriest 
trash and rubbish. See how disparaging and contemptuously Mr. 
Wendover speaks of these : " The theologian in such a state (that 
is, who has not cleared his mind by the critical method) sees no 
obstacle to accepting any arbitrary (?) list of documents, with all 
the strange stuff they may contain, and declaring them to be sound 
historical material, whilst he applies to all the strange stuff they 
may contain of a similar kind surroundin-g them the most vigorous 
principles of modern science." What proof has Mr. Wendover for 


" Robert Elmtere " as a Controversial Novel. 277 

all this ? None whatever, except that it must be so because the 
theologians have not cleared their minds with the critical method. 
What is this but silly and extravagant impertinence, not to be 
tolerated if said of any other class of persons, but admissible be- 
cause applied to Christian historians and theologians ? 

The secret of these critics and of their method is that they want 
you to lay down as an absolutely certain and infallible principle, that 
whatever in history may savor of supernatural, miraculous, super- 
intelligible, must be discarded a priori, handled without gloves 
or consideration, rejected, eliminated, spurned with utter contempt, 
and ranked among the incredible and the irrational and the absurd. 
It is then and not till then that they allow you to examine with a 
clear mind the historical documents in favor of Christianity. 

The rules they assign are of a piece, and in perfect conformity 
with such principle. Let us see. " Suppose," says Mr. Wendover, 
*' before I begin to deal with the Christian story and the earliest 
Christian development, I try to make out beforehand what are the 
moulds, the channels into which the testimony of the time must run. 
I look for these moulds, of course, in the dominant ideas, the intel- 
lectual pre-conceptions and pre-occupations existing when the 
period begins." It seems, then, that the first rule of the critical 
method is to interpret testimony by the mould and channels into 
which it must run, and these are to be found in the dominant ideas 
of the period. 

We have much to say on this rule. First, is it founded on 
reason ? Mark well that we are talking of testimony as to outward, 
sensible, public facts, and not of opinions to be passed upon them. 
If it were a question of passing an opinion upon certain facts, the 
pre-conceived ideas and pre-occupations in the mind of those who 
are to pass such judgment might influence, mould, or modify that 
opinion. But the question is as to verifying and testifying to a 
fact. An event occurs, it takes place in daylight, in public, in the 
market-place, hundreds can see and touch it, so to speak. What 
have the ideas, pre-conceptions and pre-occupations of the spec- 
tators got to do with the mere ascertaining of that event which 
passes under their own observation ? Can they, as honest men, 
proclaim that they don't see what is staring them in the face be- 
cause they may happen to have some ideas and pre-conceptions ? 
Can they stultify themselves and refuse to yield to the testimony 
of their senses ? If, then, the ascertaining of a sensible public 
fact has no connection whatever with the ideas and bias- of the 
mind of the spectators, the rule is false. 

In the second place, suppose that an event must be interpreted, 
qualified, limited according to the ideas and pre-conceptions of 

278 American Catholic Quarterly Revie7V. 

those who verify and testify to it, what then ? Does that necessarily 
shake the force of that testimony ? It may or may not ; the decision 
depends on whether those ideas and pre-conceptions be true or false. 
If they be true, the testimony will receive strength by the channel 
into which it runs. If they be false, the testimony may be affected 
by the falsity of the medium. The rule, then, even ifallowed, would 
prove naught against Christian testimony, unless it was demon- 
strated, not by assumptions and arbitrary statements, but by 
positive proofs, that the ideas and pre-conceptions and pre-occupa- 
tions of the spectators and witnesses of the facts were false and 

Again, the rule must work both ways ; it must apply to the 
early Christian witnesses, when the Christian period began, as 
well as to our sublime critics of the present day. The ideas, pre- 
conceptions and pre-occupations of the latter are dead set against 
anything supernatural, wonderful, miraculous, above and beyond 
the grossest materialism ; such pre-conceptions against all that 
takes the shape and form of the most intense and enraged hatred 
and contempt ; such ideas, pre-conceptions and pre-occupations 
have not even the shadow of reason or proof, but are assumed, a 
priori, without discussion, without admitting even the possibility 
of the contrary; and upon those ideas is proclaimed what is 
credible and what is rational. How, then, can any reasonable man 
expect that Christianity will consider such critics fit to examine 
and to judge its historical documents and proofs? Therefore, 
by applying their own rule to these methodic critics, we have a 
right to pronounce them as utterly and absolutely incompetent to 
judge of Christian history and Christian testimony. 

But to proceed. Is it true that the ideas and pre-conceptions of 
the world when the Christian period began were in favor of Chris- 
tianity beyond a general belief in the supernatural, which is the 
instinctive feeling of human nature, and the expression of which 
is signalled at all times and in all places ? That is what Mr. 
Wendover asserts, and that is what the craven ignoramus, the Rev. 
Robert Elsmere, allowed to pass without a remark. 

'• In the first place," says the Squire, " I shall find present in the 
age which saw the birth of Christianity, as in so many other ages, 
a universal pre-conception in favor of miracles, that is to say, of 
deviation from common norm of experience governing the work 
of all men and of all schools. Very well, allow for it then." 

The reverend gentleman might have replied : " On your own 
assertion, sir, the miracle is a universal pre-conception, not only of 
that age, but of many other ages." Does it not, then, occur to you 
that beliet in the supernatural and the miraculous may be the 

" Robert Elsmere " as a Controversial Newel. 279 

common, patrimony of mankind ? And is it not also at the present 
time the universal belief of mankind, with the exception of the few 
great geniuses, bold spirits, the would-be elite of the world, those 
who are led by the critical method ? Besides, he could have asked, 
is such a belief true or false ? If it be true, it matters very little 
whether the witnesses at the dawn of Christianity were inclined to 
such a belief or not. And have critics and philosophers and 
scientists ever furnished the slightest proof that it is false? Does 
not the sum total of their proof amount to this — that, given the 
principle that everything miraculous must be rejected, we proclaim 
the history of Christianity of no value whatever? 

Besides, he might have added, we deny absolutely that the world 
at the beginning of Christianity was in any particular way inclined 
to or biassed in favor of the miracle and the supernatural beyond 
the common universal belief and craving of mankind in and after 
some supernatural union and intercourse with the Divinity. He 
could easily have proved that from the leading historical facts of 
those days. And it would have been in vain for the Squire to 
contradict him and to cry out : " The wonder would have been to 
have had a life of Christ without miracles. The air teems with 
them. The East is full of Messiahs. Even Tacitus is supersti- 
tious. Even Vespasian works miracles. Even a Nero cannot die, 
but fifty years after his death is still looked for as the inaugurator 
of a millennium of horror." We say it would have been useless for 
the Squire to allege siich things as a predisposition of the Jewish 
and the Roman world in favor of Christianity, because he ought to 
have known that the religious pre-conceptions of the Jews and the 
Paganism of the Romans were the greatest and the most powerful 
antagonists Christianity had to cope with, and if it came victorious 
from the fight it was only after meeting and encountering three 
centuries of the fiercest and most furious attacks, and after shedding 
the heart's blood of millions of her pontiffs and of her children. 
Whatever religious ideas, then, pre-conceptions, pre-occupations in 
favor of the miraculous and the supernatural existed among the 
Jewish and Pagan nations, they were all used against, not in 
favor of, Christianity ; and the mould and the channel into which 
Christian testimony had to run were among the fiercest and the 
worst of her foes. 

This remark disposes also of the pre-conceptions flowing from 
the pre-Christian apocalyptic literature of the Jews, because all 
these served as so many tools and weapons against Christianity. 

Mr. Elsmere lets another great blunder pass without any ob- 
servation. The Squire condescends to give the definition of 
miracle. " Miracle, that is, deviation from the common norm of 

28o American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

experience gov^erning the work of all men and of all schools." 
The definition is somewhat ambiguous. Does Mr. Wendover 
mean that a miracle is the deviation of the common norm of ex- 
perience, inasmuch as it does not, and cannot be, the subject of 
the ordinary observation of men ? If such be his meaning, as we 
suspect, he is sadly mistaken. 

The miracle is an outward sensible fact subject to the observa- 
tion of our senses, the same, in every respect, as a natural, bona 
fide phenomenon or event. Take any miracle recorded in the 
Gospel, say, for instance, the restoring to life of the son of the widow 
of Naim. Our Lord happens to be walking in the public way fol- 
lowed by His disciples. They reach the gate of the city. A 
funeral passes by. The only son of a widowed mother is being 
carried to the grave; a great number of friends and acquaintances 
accompany the bier where the remains of the young man lie. So 
far everything is natural, there is or can be no deviation from the 
common norm of experience ; the large multitude of people see 
the bier, behold the remains of the dead, and sympathize with the 
poor mother, and see our Lord approach and touch the bier, and 
those who carry it come to a stop. The next thing they hear is our 
Lord uttering those solemn words, ''Young man, I say to thee, 
arise." Immediately after these words, to their great astonishment, 
they see him who was dead sit up, and hear him speak, and with 
the help of our Lord leap from the bier and run up to his mother. 

Pray, where is the deviation from the common norm of experi- 
ence ? What is strange about it ? The young man being alive is 
a fact ascertainable by the same senses which observed him dead, 
his sitting up in the bier in obedience to the omnipotent voice of 
Christ, his talking, his leaping down from the bier, his standing strong 
and erect before that multitude of spectators, his running to em- 
brace his mother, are the continuation of the same fact falling 
under the observation of the same faculties. Where is the differ- 
ence, the departure from the common norm of experience? And 
we beg to remark that this is in perfect conformity with the com- 
mon rule commanding the work of all men and of all schools. 
They observe an event, a fact, a natural phenomenon, and they 
conclude a law ; but the fact is observed by the senses ; it is reason 
which argues the law. The senses in the spectators of a miracle 
observe a sensible fact, an event which, inasmuch as it falls within 
the province of the senses, is as much a fact as any other in the 
universe ; and the senses know and can know nothing of the 
agency which has produced it ; this is supplied by the reason of the 
spectators who observe the fact. The reverend gentleman letting 
such a blunder pass unnoticed gives evidence that he knew nothing 
about miracles any more than Mr. Wendover himself. 

''Robert Elsmere'' as a Controversial Novel. 281 

What remains of the harangue of the Squire is of a piece with 
the premises. " Be prepared for the inevitable differences between 
it and the testimony of our own day." The difference exists only 
in the fertile brain of the skeptic. *' The witness of the time is not 
true, nor in a strict sense false. It is merely incompetent, half- 
trained, but all through perfectly natural." Having demonstrated 
that to be a thoroughly competent witness, it is not necessary to 
belong to the self-appointed critical club of the gentlemen who re- 
ject a priori, all which does not square with their ideas and pre- 
conceptions ; the evident conclusion must be that the early Christian 
testimony is supported by perfectly qualified witnesses. 

Before closing up our remark we wish to notice the following 
words of the harangue : ** The resurrection is partly invented, 
partly imagined, partly ideally true, in any case wholly intelligible 
and natural as a product of the age, when once you have the key 
of that age." 

We have proved that it is not at all necessary to use that key 
so kindly and so officiously furnished by the Squire. We have 
proved, moreover, that after all the key may be the right one, and 
instead of explaining away the facts may only confirm them more 
and more ; that it was the business of Mr. Wendover, and of all 
un-Christian, rationalistic, infidel critics to prove first that key to be 
a false one, a thing which they do not as much as dream of doing. 
On what ground, then, do they conclude with the Squire: "The 
resurrection is partly invented, partly imagined, partly ideally true." 
Why not say at once it is absolutely and wretchedly false ? 

A fact of such immense importance, which is attested by a 
number of witnesses in the full and complete possession of their 
senses, witnesses stubbornly set against it ; a fact, the observation 
and verification of which are repeated again and again, now by the 
apostles and then by the disciples, once by as many as five hun- 
dred in number; a fact which one of the witnesses stubbornly de- 
clared he would never believe unless he could see it with his own 
eyes and touch with his own hands, both of which things he had 
ample opportunity of doing ; a fact which was never denied by 
those who had every possible reason to do so, the whole Jewish 
priesthood, all the Sanhedrim, the sects, Sadducees, Pharisees, 
Herodians, the whole Jewish people; a fact admitted indirectly by 
the very soldiery who kept watch over the sepulchre, and who, 
following the suggestion of the Jews, gave out that whilst they 
were asleep the Apostles had come and stolen the body away, a 
suggestion which called forth that celebrated stricture of St. Au- 
gustine to the Jews: "Do you make use of sleeping witnesses?" a 
fact attested by the Apostles after they had become convinced of 

282 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

it by repeated observations at the expense of everything that a 
man holds dear, and confirmed and sealed by their blood ; a fact 
which has been examined, scrutinized, sifted, and found unattack- 
able and invulnerable by nineteen centuries of Christian genius, and 
for the truth of which millions of Christians have shed their blood ; 
a fact which, as soon as proclaimed, produced a moral revolution 
in the universe and created Christian civilization ; a fact on which 
the Christian Church has been founded, propagated, and continues 
to live and to resist and survive all the attacks of her enemies ; 
such a fact, we beg the authoress's pardon, cannot be disposed of so 
summarily and so cavalierly by a few words put in the mouth of a 
half-crazy squire who ends his days by his own hand in a fit of 
insanity. It is the very acme of impertinent and impudent self- 

We may be right after all in the guess we ventured to make in 
the beginning of our article, that the authoress, in the production 
of her novel, intended to make in favor of Christianity one of those 
arguments called ex absurdo^ putting in bold relief the flimsi- 
ness of the web of the rationalistic argument by showing in the 
happiest manner possible how it lacks the very pretext of a 
reasonable foundation, and by emphasizing their modest and 
shrinking pretensions to be possessed of the exclusive right to 
know and to teach what is credible and what is rational under the 
penalty for any transgressor of losing caste, and " falling ipso facto 
out of court with men of education." — (Page 351.) 

The Papacy as an International Tribunal. 283 


1. Le Tribunal International, par le Comte L. Kamarowsky, professeur 

de droit international a I'Universite de Moscou ; precede d'une 
Introduction par Jules Lacointa, ancien Avocat General a la Cour 
de Cassation, professeur de droit des gens a I'lnstitut Catholique 
de Paris, etc. 

2. Conference Internationale de la Croix Rouge a Gendve. Discours 

prononc^ le 2 Septembre, 1884, par Jules Lacointa. 

3. Le dernier projet de Code Pknal Italien. Lettre a M. Zanardelli, 

Garde des Sceaux, etc., du Royaume d'ltalie, par Jules Lacointa. 

4. La Magistrature et la Crise Judiciaire, par Jules Lacointa. 1880. 

"V T O question has occupied, in our century, the attention of states- 
^ ^ men and jurists, or has been discussed by legislators and 
journalists, that surpasses or even equals in practical importance 
the subject treated of by Count Kamarowsky, in his masterly work, 
*' Le Tribunal International," and completed by the most eminent of 
French jurists, Jules Lacointa, in the no less masterly " Introduc- 
tion " written for the Paris edition. Let us deal with this " In- 
troduction," in the first place ; the horizons it opens up, the lofty 
principles it vindicates, and the practical considerations it urges 
upon governments and peoples, will prepare us to understand and 
appreciate the mighty import of Count Kamarowsky's treatise. 


The manifold costliness of the twelve millions of armed men 
kept on foot by the European nations ; the intolerable burdens 
imposed on the tax-payers ; the entire youth and manhood of so 
many countries taken away from domestic life and the walks of 
the most needful and profitable industry ; the hoarded wealth of 
what was once Christendom, and all the resources of the most 
advanced science, applied to the discovery and use of the most 
destructive agencies and implements, and the black war-cloud which 
now hangs over Europe, continental and insular, pregnant with 
the ruin of empires and the death of millions of human beings ; — 
all this pleads for Peace and for the recognition of a mediator 
and arbiter between nations clothed with the authority of the 
divine " Prince of Peace." 

The terrifying vision of danger to her supremacy is frightening 

284 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

Great Britain into creating a new navy. Is it not the resolve to 
avert possible war from our own borders which stimulates our 
Government and Congress to erect sea-coast defences, and to have 
the American flag borne on every sea by armed vessels, powerful 
enough and numerous enough to render peace certain in our free 
and prosperous country, by making war a very remote possibility? 

It is well that among a people who have no rivals to fear on the 
American continent, and who have no ambition to enlarge the 
magnificent patrimony Providence has given them, there should 
spring up those associations which aim to do away with war and 
to secure peace, blessed and permanent peace, to the human family. 

/' One cannot do too much," says M. Lacointa, " to render war 
less cruel and of less frequent occurrence. All that can be taken 
away from war is a gift toward the prosperity of states, the vital- 
ity and fortune of nations. 

" If man is powerless to stop this plague altogether, it concerns 
him to lessen its fearful effects. It would be much to prevent 
frequently the recourse to arms, to exhaust, in order to prevent 
it, all the means of arriving at a peaceful solution. 

" Law-suits between private persons are, generally, only author- 
ized after having tried conciliation ; it should be the same between 
states. When private dissensions arise, people do not rush to 
take up arms ; in such cases violence is forbidden ; courts are es- 
tablished to decide on the cause of quarrel. Why, then, should 
violence, instead of being a rare exception, become the principal 
form of terminating international disputes ? Because there is 
no judge between states ; the absence of a superior authority 
leaves, all too often, no other issue but hostilities." 

This is the generative idea of the joint work of Count Kam- 
arowsky and M. Lacointa ; indeed, we may say, it was this need 
of " a Judge between States," of " a Superior Authority," recog- 
nized as arbiter by the entire civilized world, that set men's minds 
a-thinking on both sides of the Atlantic, and gave rise, directly or 
indirectly, to all the " Peace Congresses " assembled in our day. 

Nor, as we shall see, have these peace congresses and associa- 
tions borne no solid nor salutary fruit. 

M. Lacointa glances at the various institutions, both among an- 
cient and modern peoples, established to prevent the frequent and 
unnecessary recurrence of wars. The persons charged with pro- 
nouncing on such a necessity were always judged to be " most 
enlightened." In ancient Rome, the college of Feciales had to be 
consulted before war was either decided on or declared. This 
precaution won the approval of Cicero as well as the warm admira- 
tion of Bossuet. " It was a holy institution," said the latter, 
'* which reflects shame on Christians, to whom a God came down 

The Papacy as an International Tribunal. 285 

on earth to pacify all things, but has been unable to inspire with 
sentiments of charity and peace." 

In our day, when so long a period of centuries separates Chris- 
tendom from barbaric times, there is, M. Lacointa justly complains, 
no sufficient safeguard for securing against destruction and ruin 
the lives of men and the fortunes of states and citizens. 

Is the killing of men in battle a lawful act when the war is an 
unjust one? 

" We do not say, whatever may be the authority of those who 
maintain the contrary opinion, that no soldier should obey or take 
any part in the hostilities until a regular decision from a specially 
competent authority had acknowledged that the war was a rightful 
one. The duty of obeying one's superior officers, especially in 
presence of the enemy, is one that may not be discussed. With 
this reserve, however, and examining the question under the high- 
est social point of view, we ask, ought there not to be judges 
charged with the responsibility of pronouncing on the necessity of 
taking up arms, necessitas^ non vohmtas ('the necessity, not the 
will'), according to the firm declaration of St. Augustine, the will 
being ever disposed toward peace, necessity alone compelling to 
make war? " 

Certainly, if a preliminary deliberation, such as that ordered by 
the jus feciale in Pagan Rome, was an acknowledged legal con- 
dition toward a declaration of war among Christian peoples, we 
should have regained a most precious advantage. 

" That peoples, growing daily more jealous of their independence, 
leave it exclusively in the power either of a political assembly or of a 
sovereign, subject to the influence of all sorts of excitement, the 
faculty of declaring war without calling to their aid the advice of 
competent and dispassionate counsellors ; that men so wedded to 
and greedy of liberties often superfluous and of no account should 
show themselves so reckless of the dearest interests of the family 
and the nation, is sufficient to astonish and bewilder the most skep- 
tical observer." 

Have we Americans not had a bitter experience of such utter 
recklessness, such unaccountable folly, in the long series of dis- 
putes which led to the war of Secession and in the criminal 
rashness which precipitated us into the first hostilities ? 

Contrast this inconsistent and irrational mode of proceeding, so 
prevalent among nations professing to be guided by the maxims of 
the Gospel, with the practice of the Moslem world. "Not any 
more than the Consuls and the Senate in Rome," says M. Lecointa, 
" can the Sultan or his Divan in Constantinople decide by them- 
selves on declaring war (that is, an offensive war). Every soldier 
knows, in Turkey, that unless the College of Ulenias has delib- 

286 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

erated and issued ^h^fetva authorizing the war, he cannot unsheathe 
his sword. Should he do so otherwise, the ministers of his reHgion 
will refuse him burial in consecrated ground, and he will be, accord- 
ing to the Moslem belief, doomed to eternal damnation. Hostili- 
ties may not be begun without this authorization, just as they 
might not in ancient Rome before the decision of the Feciales ; 
else, the Sultan would not be obeyed. The fetva has to be pub- 
lished from the top of the minarets and the Imans read it in front 
of the armed battalions." 

M. Lacointa, in the absence of a like recognized authority 
among Christian nations at the present moment, mentions with 
praise the field instructions issued to the Federal armies during 
our civil war and the neutralization of ambulances and the invio- 
lableness of wounded soldiers proclaimed in the Convention of 
Geneva, as well as the prohibition of explosive bullets by the Con- 
vention of St. Petersburg. This last step was taken at the sugges- 
tion of the Emperor Alexander II., who also, six years afterward, 
encouraged the meeting of the Conference of Brussels to discuss 
the laws and usages of modern warfare, the better treatment of 
military prisoners, a more religious respect for private property on 
land, and a mitigation of the hardships to which private fortunes 
are exposed on sea in time of war. All these are partial successes 
marking the long struggle of justice against violence. 

But all these are only temporary expedients, like most of the 
means for preventing war advocated by Count Kamarowsky, such 
as negotiation, kindly offices, mediation, conferences^ and congresses. 

In the Divine plan of which the Church and the political consti- 
tution of the Christendom created by the Church were to be the 
realization, there was one Central Authority, essentially mediato- 
rial and peace-making, which fulfilled, so long as Christendom 
remained united, the office of judge and arbiter between the nations. 
That this divinely-instituted Central Authority did not effect more 
toward preventing wars and their consequences throughout the 
early and middle ages was due to the very nature of the dominant 
feudalism. It did, however, much more than its greatest admirers 
have claimed, and, as it is to last through all time. Providence will 
so direct events as to make rulers and peoples once more look up 
to its mediation and judgment as to the sole divinely-appointed 
remedy against the evils of warfare. 

But it will interest the reader to hear upon this very point a man 
who stood in France at the head of his noble profession before 
conscience and honor bade him descend from his high seat in the 

*' In the Middle Ages Europe possessed an arbitrator to whom, 
as everybody acknowledges, the nations were indebted for signal 

The Papacy as an International Tribunal. 287 

services. The Popes, accepted as magistrates placed over kings 
and peoples, interposed their authority on many occasions and 
effected a pacification. In the centre of Christendom was seated a 
living oracle who decided without appeal on disputes. Law- 
giver and supreme judge, he restrained feudal anarchy and violence. 
The Peace of God powerfully aided him in his efforts. The spiritual 
unity of the Church, which had become the mediator among nations, 
contributed toward founding on the ruins of the Roman world the 
new society in whose bosom was developed the general concert of 

" It was no vulgar ambition that inspired Gregory VII. and In- 
nocent III. Whatever opinion one may hold about their aspira- 
tions, and how impossible soever of being realized one may judge 
them to be, there is no denying the grandeur of the conception 
which led them to undertake their reforms. Under the ascendency 
of the head of religion, whose authority was ever on the increase, 
a Christian international law sprang up, to which a fresh impulse 
was given by the crusades, the expansive progress of commerce, 
the propagation of the principles of the law of nature by the 
teaching of Roman law, — a legacy of the ancient city, — by the dis- 
covery, in fine, of the New World. Canon law enunciated axioms 
adopted by the public law of modern times ; celebrated theologians 
were the first to write treatises on war, aiming to soften the savage 
rudeness of camps and to condemn their licentiousness ; and from 
their works modern writers on military matters borrow many use- 
ful suggestions. 

"The rule of the Papacy, which so often compelled Might to ac- 
knowledge the pre-eminence of Right, manifested in international 
relations its spiritualizing and pacifying influence. The Bull so 
often discussed, which at the end of the fifteenth century defined the 
boundaries of the immense discoveries of the Spaniards and Portu- 
guese, was a confession made by the nations who demanded it that 
mere conquest did not suffice (to bestow the right of possession), 
and a petition, not for concessions which no one could grant, but 
for a sanction emanating from the highest representative of Right." 

These truths, borrowed alike from authentic history and from the 
highest theological sources, are needful in our day, not only to the 
statesman, the diplomat, the legislator and enlightened politician, 
but to all who make the law their profession. If what was once 
Christendom has been divided by criminal political ambition and 
by false teaching, this has been due to the impious setting aside of 
the Papal authority ; and if what remains of the once glorious unity 
is to be saved from the hands of the anti-Christian conspirators of 
our day, we must all labor to restore to the Papacy its practical 

288 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

authority, its international influence, its independence, and all the 
salutary prerogatives of its mediatorial and judicial office. 

The return of governments and nations to the old paths from 
which they have strayed must naturally be a slow one ; but it has 
already begun. It is hard for proud and prosperous peoples to 
acknowledge that, in an evil hour, they wilfully closed their eyes to 
one of those fundamental social truths which are in the designs of 
the King of Kings to be beacon-lights for the guidance of humanity. 
But they are once more turning their faces toward the unquench- 
able radiance ever falling from the Seven Hills of Rome. 

" A tribunal of public peace has been an object of desire during 
the last centuries to thinkers whose works are well known. This 
tribunal does not, indeed, exist at the present moment ; but the 
wish that it should exist is more urgently, more frequently, ex- 
pressed now than at any period in the past." 

Arbitration, so often employed within the present century, is 
only a step, and it is a great one, toward the creation of the desired 
International Tribunal. M. Lacointa anticipates Count Kama- 
rowsky's recital in a brief enumeration of the most remarkable acts 
of arbitration recorded, from the treaty concluded November 19th, 
1794, between the United States and Great Britain, down to the 
Alabama arbitration. 

He mentions the Senate Bill of June, 1886, authorizing the 
President of the United States to invite Mexico, together with all 
the states of Central and South America, to meet in Congress and 
discuss the best means of settling among themselves all differences 
that may arise. 

** The successes attending the method of arbitration mark a de- 
cisive stage in the ascending march of law. The experience thus 
acquired attracts other states ; not a year passes without the estab- 
lishment of commissions or arbitration courts to solve questions 
the most diversified. The multiplicity of relations between peoples 
has made this development necessary." 

A striking fact, mentioned by M. Lacointa, is that although there 
does not exist among sovereign and independent states any means 
of compelling the carrying out of an arbitral decision, nevertheless 
not one of the sentences thus pronounced has remained without 
complete fulfilment. Much, for instance, as Great Britain felt dis- 
appointed and aggrieved by the sentence of the arbitration court 
regarding the Alabama claims, that sentence was executed. 

Another no less remarkable step on the road toward a peaceful 
settlement of international difficulties, is the custom now fairly 
established of introducing into all treaties what is known as the 
compromissory clause^ the compromissum being the promise made by 

The Papacy as an International Tribunal. 289 

each of the contracting parties to refer all differences arising about 
the interpretation or execution of the treaty to an arbitrator. 

This led to the creating in Berne, the capital of the Swiss Con- 
federacy, of permanent offices, whose business is to arbitrate in dif- 
ficulties arising out of various branches of international activity. 

The truth is that there is some danger of making too common 
a use of arbitration, which should only be invoked in difficulties of 
the most momentous kind. Still the bonds which are daily 
bringing more closely together the peoples most widely separated 
from each other by geographical space, by race, religion, and social 
institutions, multiply in every direction industrial activity, commer- 
cial and political relations, and increase in the same ratio the 
necessity of a well-developed and defined international jurisprudence. 
And, of course, the crowning of the edifice of international law 
must be a court to interpret and apply it. 

We have only to remember how many additions have been made 
of late years to the legislation and institutions which are properly 
called international. 

Our American authors have long been clamoring for the protec- 
tion of an international copyright law, while our American pub- 
lishers, who are a great money-power, are equally determined that 
our authors shall not have it. Such a law, putting authors on a 
footing of equality with their brethren in Europe, would be no 
small boon. Then there are international laws protecting industry 
and trade-marks ; international postal conventions. And soon, 
some people hope, international telegraphs, railways, and other 
means of transport, will enjoy the protection of like common laws. 

So, the more one reflects on this subject, the wider grows the 
prospect of close and manifold social and commercial relations be- 
tween the inhabitants of our globe, the more also increases the 
conviction that all the dangers which threaten the peace of the 
world can only be effectively and permanently removed by the 
recognition of the mediatorial and arbitral authority of the Vicar 
on earth of Him who is the Judge of the whole earth. 

** The Law of Nations exists, therefore," says M. Lacointa ; *' it is 
written in the treatises and works of publicists, or (and this is its 
first code) written in the conscience and the customs of genera- 
tions. Its manifestations are frequent. Arbitrators, chosen by 
accident, apply it on various occasions. Without being supported 
by coercive means, their sentences are always executed. Why, 
then, should not a court, with a wider or narrower jurisdiction, be 
established to preside permanently over the execution of this law 
by the various states ?" 

Speaking of the agencies which have gradually and most power- 
fully so moulded public opinion as to make the peoples of both 
VOL. XIV. — 19 

290 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

hemispheres adverse to war and desirous of peaceful arbitration, 
M. Lacointa mentions, in the first place, the societies, unions, 
leagues, and friends of Peace, who, under one form or one name 
or another, have been working so hard and so long to bring man- 
kind to wish {or peace unbroken and perpetual. 

We, who have grown old with the century, can well remember 
how these " Friends of Peace " were laughed at as mere visionaries. 
They used to be looked down upon with somewhat of the same 
pity we extended to the Millerites and Millennium craze in general. 

"When once you utter the word chiincera, Utopia, all discussion 
becomes impossible, the case is ended, the verdict given in, and the 
idea is condemned. And this is so true that, fearful of being 
blamed as Utopians, many persons will not even look at the pre- 
judged question. We all know what power there is in certain 
words. But are not hasty condemnations as arbitrary as blind 
prejudice or a foregone conclusion not to examine a question ? 

" I am free to confess it," says M. Lacointa, " the creation of an 
international tribunal did appear to me as a chimcsra, and, though 
strongly drawn to that order of studies, when I read Count Kama- 
rowsky's book, I thought it a very rash production ; and had it 
been in my power to do so, I should have willingly modified it. 

*'An attentive examination, meditation on the subject matter, 
have done away with that impression. The title is a bold one, no 
doubt, but it is no longer blame-worthy in my eyes. I see in it the 
formula of a just idea, which the future, which time, the incompara- 
ble master, can make a practical idea." 

To the societies devoted to the pursuit of international arbitra- 
tion, and their persevering efforts, the civilized world is indebted for 
this mode of settling difficulties between states. Both the British 
Parliament and the American Congress, after resisting the proposi- 
tions made for adopting this solution, ended by approving it ; our 
Congress declared this way of settling quarrels to be equitable 
and practical. 

Charles Sumner, Richard Cobden, and Henry Richard, in their 
day, eloquently advocated it, while senates mocked and jeered. 
They were among the "visionaries." But their vision extended 
beyond the horizon and the mists which limited the intellectual 
forecast of the men who laughed at them. 

These illustrious men, like the Mohammedans who erected the 
incomparable Mosque of Cordova and the scarcely less magnifi- 
cent one of Seville, " builded better than they knew." The 
Spanish Mussulman little fancied that he was constructing the 
most glorious of shrines for Christian worship when he reared 
these most beautiful edifices. And little dreamed Cobden or 
Sumner or so many others, in bringing each his stone and fashion- 

The Papacy as an International Tribunal. 291 

ing it and fitting it into that scheme of International Arbitration, 
that they were building up for the Papacy a sanctuary of interna- 
tional justice destined to last for all time, and to confer on the 
human race blessings untold and unhoped for. 

God works slowly through the ages, while elaborating anything 
which is to last forever. He is eternal and can bide His time. 
We Catholics know that His Church is also fated never to die. 
She can allow the wave of the present anti-Christian persecution 
to sweep by the rock on which she is seated, and the fierce tide of 
blasphemy and hate to cover her feet with its froth. Did not timid 
and short-sighted Christians in the days of Cromwell, as well as 
in those of Robespierre, believe that the Rock of Peter was shaken 
to its foundations, and was about to be rent and engulfed in the 
waves? Lolthe ocean -tides since then have encircled the earth, 
purifying and renovating it, destroying and overwhelming that 
only which was perishable or hurtful, and leaving the Rock of 
Peter more firm than the foundations of the earth, because reposing 
on the Truth of God's unfailing Promises. 

The principle of an International Tribunal and of a permanent 
jurisdiction attached thereto is already an intellectual factor in the 
life of modern nations. More than one formidable obstacle will 
have to be overcome before the Pope can be universally accepted 
as the official mediator and arbitrator. But the currents of public 
opinion set in motion in the English speaking world alone will 
end in proposing or accepting the Pope in this capacity. 

We may take as a sample of the opposition to be expected the 
insensate clamor raised in Canada at the present moment, about 
the last act of arbitration performed by the Holy See, the decision 
just given with regard to the indemnity offered by the Provincial 
Government of Quebec to the Catholic Church in that province 
for the Jesuit Estates which escheated to the crown in the year 
1 800. 

A letter published in the Paris edition of the New York Herald, 
in the first days of March, and written from Montreal, represents 
the act of Leo XIII. as another " Papal aggression." It would be 
impossible to condense into as many lines as this letter contains a 
greater number of falsehoods, reckless misrepresentations, and un- 
blushing perversions of fact. The tone and animus of the writer 
are those of the lowest and worst type of Orangemen, strikingly 
reminding us of what was written and published by the anti- 
Catholic press of Montreal in 1849-50, and what was uttered by 
the Orange leaders in the Canadian Parliament before and after the 
riots which led to the assault on the Governor-General, Lord Elgin, 
and on his Prime-Minister, Mr. Lafontaine, as well as to the burning 
down of the Parliament House and the destruction of the mag- 

292 American Catholic Quarterly Revitw. 

nificent library, with its manuscript treasures, an irreparable loss 
to the students of colonial history. 

Then the cause assigned for the hostility to the Queen's repre- 
sentative, and the apology offered for the vandalism which spared 
not the Government buildings and attempted to set fire to Catholic 
churches and convents, was that Lord Elgin had given his sig- 
nature to a bill indemnifying the French Canadians for losses 
endured during the short-lived flare-up called the Papinean re- 
bellion. Some villages were ruthlessly and wantonly burned 
down, and the churches pillaged and destroyed by the British 
troops under General Gore. He, as the writer of this article can 
testify, was in sympathy with the rioters and incendiaries of 1849. 
It was his custom, in his drinking-bouts with his imtimates, to use 
the consecrated chalice taken from one of the churches, that of 
St. Denis, if we mistake not. 

Such was the anti-Papist spirit which resisted the very moderate 
indemnity granted to the injured Catholic Canadians in 1849 ^y a 
majority of the Provincial Parliament. And such is the same un- 
hallowed and un-Christian spirit which still survives among the 
Orangemen all along the St. Lawrence, and which, after vainly pro- 
testing against the very moderate indemnity offered to the Cana- 
dian Church for the former Jesuit Estates, now resent and mis- 
represent as an act of Papal aggression or religious persecution 
the sentence pronounced by the Pope, in his quality of arbitrator 
chosen by the Government itself. 

It was simply an act which concerned Catholics, the dispute 
being between the Jesuits on the one hand, who claimed the entire 
indemnity offered by the Government, and the Canadian Arch- 
bishops and Bishops on the other. 

But the unjust and uncharitable spirit personified by Orangeism 
at home and abroad, will always end in discrediting the cause these 
fanatics advocate and which they still more disgrace by their acts 
of violence, outrage and bloodshed. 

The excitement created in Lower and Upper Canada by the 
furious outcries of these Orangemen and the shameful countenance 
given to their unpatriotic and un-Christian conduct by^some mem- 
bers, at least, of the Protestant Episcopal body, will not, we firmly 
believe, lead to a collision of creeds and races, to anything like the 
civil war now spoken of in the New York press. 

Nor will the anti-Papal prejudices, still so strong, not only in 
Protestant lands and the Greek Empire, but in more than one nom- 
inally Catholic country, avail to block the march of ideas or to pre- 
vent the good sense of the human race from drawing logical con- 
clusions from lofty and avowed principles, especially when the 


The Papacy as an International Tribunal. 293 

dearest interests of humanity and the peace of the world are on the 
side of logic. 

The prompt action of the Holy See when Germany and Spain 
invoked its mediation, and the no less prompt acceptance by both 
Governments of the proposed terms of agreement, made a deep 
impression in the diplomatic as well as in the industrial world. 
In a few weeks after the Pope had undertaken to examine the diffi- 
culty he had found for both nations an honorable way out of it ; 
and the war-cloud which hung over Spain passed away like the 
mists of the morning. 

We can take the judgment of the London Spectator on this 
speedy and uncostly issue to what threatened to be a serious inter- 
national quarrel, as the judgment of sound common sense among 
the non-Catholic masses of Great Britain and the United States. 

" Humanity is in search of an arbitrator of unquestionable im- 
partiality ;" so speaks the London journal. " Under many respects 
the Pope is, by his station, marked out for this office. He holds 
a rank which permits both monarchs and republics to have recourse 
to him without any sacrifice of their dignity. As a consequence of 
his mission, the Pope is not only impartial as between all nations, 
but he stands on such an elevation as to make their differences 
imperceptible to his eyes. There remains the question of religion ; 
but this difficulty is growing daily less. No country could, in this 
respect, entertain greater prejudices than Germany. Well, Prince 
Bismarck consented to address himself to the head of the Roman 
Church. ' I shall not go to Canossa,' the Chancellor said ; ' but if 
the Pope decides that our pretensions with regard to the Carolinas 
Islands are not just, I shall not contest with Spain the possession 
of the Carolinas.' Evidently the Carolinas are of very little im- 
portance to Prince Bismarck ; but the fact that the proudest states- 
man on the Continent acknowledges before the world that he may, 
without loss of dignity, submit his conduct in an international trans- 
action to the judgment of the Pope, is an extraordinary proof that 
the Pope still holds in our modern skeptical world an exceptional 
position. Without a territory, without soldiers, without revenues, 
without the right conferred by birth, without material forces, a 
Christian Pontiff is acknowledged by the master of armies to be his 
superior in one sense. 

'' Such a choice is not, after all, a triumph for material might and 
it tells us clearly that the Pope is, in certain cases, the actual arbi- 
trator of the civilized world." 

Long before 1885 and the incident of the Carolinas, as M. La- 
cointa remarks, Mr. David Urquhart, a Protestant like Prince Bis- 
marck, addressed in 1869 to Pope Pius IX. a letter, ''The appeal 
of a Protestant to the Pope for the restoration of the Public Law 

294 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

of Nations." The appeal was in Latin, and was remarkable for its 
elevation of thought and its true eloquence. 

" Might is an uncertain good," he says, " and glory is but vanity. 
That alone is powerful and durable which can supply a remedy for 
the diseases and aberrations of mankind. 

" This is the power placed in your hands. Other power or hope 
there is none. I beseech you, most holy Father, that you call 
forth the lofty and all-pervading intelligence of the Roman Church 
for the purpose of cultivating this science (of International Law), 
which the ancients denominated the science concerned about thivgs 
human and divine, and which made Pagan Rome so great, so noble 
and so venerable. This, also, depends on your power and good 

*' Come to the help of the wretched, who are alike unable to bear 
with or cure the evils they have brought on themselves. Come ! 
I beseech you by your royal station, by your ancient title, by the 
memories of the past, by the Imperial City in which you dwell, by 
the very Latin tongue you make use of!" ^ 

This appeal was especially for the establishment in Rome of a 
great School of International Law as an auxiliary to the practice 
of the Roman Pontiff's mediatorial and judicial office. It was made 
while the Bishops of all Christendom were assembling for the Vati- 
can Council, a spectacle which deeply impressed men of lofty in- 
telligence and peace-loving, such as David Urquhart. 

Two years before that, in 1867, Dr. Von Ketteler, Bishop of 
Mayence, urged and developed the necessity of such a school in 
Rome. After recalling the institutions of antiquity, the ancient 
constitutions of England and the Mussulman legislation already 
mentioned, he quoted the words of a petition addressed to the 
Pope eighteen years previously by a number of English Catholics. 
" We need such laws," they said, " in a society of virtuous citizens. 
Still, unless the Catholic Church raises her voice, these traditions 
will disappear in Europe, stifled by material interests, by the spirit 
of vain-glory, by a skepticism which keeps pace with immorality. 
The result would be a general confusion, followed by the chastise- 
ment of universal servitude." 

The petitioners, therefore, besought the Pontiff to found in Rome, 

1 " Anceps est potentia et gloria vana ; id tantum potens et durabile quod remedium 
ad morbos et errores hominum afferat. Potentia ilia tuis in manibus sita est. Po- 
tentia alia non est, necipes. Oro te, Beatissinie pater, ut intelligentiam excelsam et 
undique permeantem Romanae Ecclesiae evoces ad istam scientiam colendam, ab an- 
tiquis de rebus humanis et divinis dictani, perquam Roma pagana magna, nobiles, et 
venexanda fuit. Hoc quoque apud potestatem et voluntatem tuam est. Miseris, 
qui mala se ipis illata nee toierare nee sanare possunt, in auxilium venias, per dignita- 
tem regiam, per antiquam titulum tuum, per praeteriti memoriam, per Urbem sedem 
imperii quam incolis, per linguam ipsam qua uteres, oro." 

The Papacy as an International Tribunal. 295 

beneath the protection of the ApostoHc See, a college solely des- 
tined to teach international law and the true principles of social 

This, be it said here, is one of the objects sought by M. Lacointa 
in editing the classic work of Count Kamarowsky. It has already 
been submitted to the Holy Father. 

Now let us glance at the book of the noble Professor of Inter- 
national Law in the University of Moscow. 


The title itself is a bold one : " The International Tribunal." It 
tells the reader that such a tribunal either actually exists or is in a 
forward state of preparation. It leaves no room for thinking of 
mere theories or Utopias. It suggests at once to the mind grand 
practical results, such as one expects from an international institu- 
tion called to deal with the mighty issues of war, with the manifold 
interests of peace and its industries, and with the ever-increasing 
relations with each other of nations and continents, and the isles 
of the ocean. 

The work is divided into four books, of which book first treats 
of" the means for ending the conflicts which arise between states " ; 
book second recounts " the origin and history of the idea of an 
International Tribunal " ; book third treats of the " theoretical 
development of the same idea " ; the fourth and last deals with the 
" fundamental principles on which such a tribunal reposes." 

Of course from a Russian, and one professing the creed of the 
Orthodox Greek Church, we are not to expect perfect conformity 
on doctrinal points with what the Catholic Church teaches. Still, 
one is pleased to find Count Kamarowsky give such definitions of 
international law and such statements of the great principles which 
underlie it as our best theologians and jurists would be disposed to 
quarrel with. 

'' International union," he says (that is, the union of nations be- 
tween themselves), " although only dating from the beginning of 
modern history, continues to strike deeper and deeper roots into 
the relations of peoples and into science. The origin, the develop- 
ment, and the final aim of this union may be better understood by 
following the path of history. It has its essential foundation in 
the unity of the human race and is destined to bind together by 
juridical principles, into one superior whole, all states, the living 
members of humanity. The jurisprudence which springs from this 
union, and which has for its purpose this objective aim, is interna- 
tional jurisprudence. In itself the result of the historic life of 
humanity, this jurisprudence can only be understood by those who 
see in law not barren varieties and modifications of rules, of sta- 

296 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

tutes or theoretical conceptions, but ever-living revelations of the 
sentiment of the race." 

States, like private individuals, are moved by intellectual aberra- 
tions, by passions, by interest. The shock of these motive forces 
provokes armed conflicts. ** To resist war and to restrain it by 
every possible means is the lofty mission of international law. 
Without law the peaceful and progressive development of humanity 
is impossible. 

The author enumerates the general character of the trespasses 
committed against the law of nations by the nations themselves or 
by individuals for whom their respective governments are held 
responsible, as well as the methods of repairing the wrong thus 
done and of ending the difficulties and conflicts thence arising. 
Jurists differ in their classification of the means of solving such dif- 
ficulties. This involves a brief survey of international procedure, 
and with this the author concludes his introduction to his work. 

" A definite principle on which to base all such classifications," 
Count Kamarowsky says, " is tound in the factors which determine 
and direct the life of nations. There are three of them : force, 
interests, and law or right. Each of these factors is related to a 
special category of the means of defence. On force repose coercive 
measures. Political and economical interests, being the principal 
objects of political action, lead men to the use of diplomatic means. 

" These two means of redress were long the only ones thought 
of by peoples in defending themselves. Little by little law looms 
up as destined to replace both coercion and diplomacy in the future. 
It is growing up by their side and is elaborating purely juridical 
means of defence. To this tendency, we allow ourselves to hope, 
belongs the future 

" Force, in a civilized society, is only called on to support law ; 
from law alone it derives its efficiency, but its application should 
be confined within the limits marked by a wise policy. Interests 
form, in general, one of the principal elements in the formation 
and develpment of law. This, however, is not the only element. 
Another and a more important one is the moral element, emanat- 
ing from the principle of justice, which is formed in the conscience 
of nations, under the influence of the moral and religious principles 
inherent in them." 

These extracts prepare the reader for the course which the 
author intends to pursue, and gives a foretaste of the spirit which 
animates him in the discussion of the great theme he has under- 

We pass over the chapter which treats of the coercive measures 
resorted to for terminating international conflicts, to come to the 

The Papacy as an International Tribunal. 297 

close of the next chapter, which deals at length with diplomatic 
measures. The author thus sums up what relates to these and to 
their efficacy in preventing wars, or in doing justice to aggrieved 
or wronged parties. 

*'We draw the following deductions: ist. Mediation, as a 
political form of negotiating, is applicable to every kind of relations 
between states. It prepares the ground for a settlement, . . . but 
it presents no ready means of solution. Nor is any one of the 
states, partaking in such proceedings, held by any strict obligations. 
2d. In our age . . . congresses appear as the organs of a collec- 
tive mediation. . . . Publicists differ in their estimates of the value 
of congresses ; some .... look upon them as superfluous, or 
even mischievous ; others .... see in them the organs which 
give a voice to the general interests, and to the judicial convictions 
of the civilized world. 3d. Nevertheless, experience shows that 
congresses contribute very little toward the pacification of peoples, 

and the establishment of a common jurisprudence Then the 

great powers alone take part in them. Nor is it in the name of the 
general principles of law and justice, so dear to all, that these 
powers attempt to mediate, but to forward each its own narrow and 
selfish political interests. 4th. The strife thus essentially existing 
between these self-constituted mediators paralyzes all attempts at 
mediation, and prevents them from seeking the triumph of law. 5th. 
Conferences called for the purpose of mediating are devoid of the 
very first quality requisite toward that — impartiality." 

So does the thesis developed by the author, step by step, tend to 
demonstrate the necessity of the mediator we know of 

The third chapter of this first book, which treats of the juridical 
means of pacification, is full of deep instruction for both statesman 
and student. 

" Right," he says, " le droit, is the law of coexistence of men in 
society. Its roots as well as its final purpose are found in the moral 
order which God has established. Contemporary jurisprudence 
places in the foreground the system of man's wants, and thereby 
explains the birth and development of right. 

" But this manner of conceiving things is inadequate, for the sole 
reason that, in studying the juridical order, it contents itself with 
looking only at the outside. 

'' Right springs from two things particular to human nature ; first, 
from the fact ofman's being a /^r.y^/?, .... stamping with the seal of 
his personality all his relations toward others. Right springs from 
the peculiarities, bad and good alike, of human nature. Right, in 
the second place, springs from the social nature of man. For inas- 
much as man is a person, he cannot live in isolation either physical 

298 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

or spiritual. The ideas of personality and sociability derive re- 
ciprocally from each other, and support, each other mutually. 
Therefore it is that the whole life of man is spent in unioits. 

"A special right (or jurisprudence), resulting from the life of such 
union, properly belongs to every kind of union or to every form of 

"Thus has sprung up, not by the force of theoretical specula- 
tions, but by the very force of the needs of human life, and waxes 
still more vigorous, the great community of states^ or the Interna- 
tional Union. This Union has its own peculiar right or body of 
laws, — international • right or law, which is that of humanity; and 
.this law, although expressed only by some isolated members of the 
union, is created by the common life of the civilized world, until 
such time as it becomes the creation of the entire human race."^ 

To jurists these extracts will convey some notion of the scientific 
precision with which Count Kamarowsky states his principles. To 
theologians and philosophers they indicate the solidity and elevation 
of his doctrine. 

The second book traces the progress in history of this idea of 
an international tribunal. Even arbitration, the most perfect form 
of solving difficulties within states themselves or from one state to 
another, was not unknown in remote antiquity. After the death 
of Darius (486 B.C.), son of Hystaspes, a dispute arose between 
his sons, Xerxes and Ariamenes, which was ended by the sentence 
of their uncle, Artaphernes, as family judge or arbitrator. Xeno- 
phon also mentions that a dispute between Cyrus and the king 
of Assyria was submitted to the arbitration of one of the princes 
of India. 

In the remotest ages religious authorities were mostly chosen as 
arbitrators. The Amphictyonic Councils in Greece, that of Delphi, 
and Pylos especially, judged all differences arising between the Gre- 
cian states. There the deputies of these states met twice annually. 
But the reverence with which the decisions of the Amphictyons 
were received in the best ages of Grecian liberty declined with 
that liberty itself, till, at length, the councils became a servile tool 
in the hands of Philip of Macedon. 

Among the Romans, who aspired to universal domination, the 
only institution which had anything like the character of an in- 
ternational tribunal, was the Recuperators, courts organized oc- 
casionally in Rome to examine the claims of the subjects of foreign 
states, either against the Roman authorities or the citizens. Under 
the Republic, conventions were agreed upon between Rome and 

1 Le Tribunal International^ pp. 103- 105. 

The Papacy as an International Tribunal. 299 

the provinces of Italy for the examining of such claims and granting 
redress. Later, like conventions were made with distant states or 
sovereigns, such as Carthage, Philip of Macedon, and King An- 

The rules which guided these courts were a mixed code, made 
up of the Roman law and the laws of the foreign states concerned. 
They thus contained germs of international jurisprudence. 

Coming to the Christian era and the Middle Ages, Count Kam- 
arowsky finds himself face to face with the Church and the salu- 
tary action of the Roman Pontiff. Here he is entirely misled by 
the prejudices of birth, education and creed, which so unhappily 
warp the intelligence of so many fair-minded Protestants among 

" The idea of an International Tribunal," he says, " manifests 
itself more distinctly, albeit in an original form, during the Middle 
Ages than in antiquity. It showed itself in that sphere where first 
sprang up in Europe a community between the nations, namely, in 
the sphere of religion. United by a common origin, the Euro- 
pean peoples adopted almost simultaneously the Christian faith, 
and thereby acquired the resources of a new life, of a life superior 
both in its moral and social aspects. 

" Personal arbitrary power, amid the rude manners of the epoch 
of the transmigration of the barbarian peoples, knew no limits ; 
and there was hardly anything that could be called a central 
power. When, later, the Feudal order became established, the 
state had the character of a civil society, not of a political union. 
It was based upon private right, on the right of property and con- 
tract, and did not express the union of the people; because, 
instead of a people forming a whole, we meet anywhere with 
classes pursuing their own interests and enjoying independent 

" It is not to be wondered at, considering these conditions, that 
the Church took on herself, or received, outside of and beyond 
her direct and spiritual mission, the importance of a predominant 
social power. Many rights, belonging at bottom to the state, were 
placed in her hands, a condition of things useful in that epoch of 
anarchy. Thus it was that the Papacy, under the influence of cir- 
cumstances, and thanks to the rare genius and energy of the 
Roman Pontiffs, arose and gained strength in western Europe. 
The Popes, during their period of power, from Gregory VII. to 
Boniface VIII., after an obstinate struggle of several centuries, 
looked upon themselves as the sovereigns of Europe. 

'* For a time the belief might have obtained that Theocracy had 
gained a final victory. 

300 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

" The Popes claimed unlimited power, not only over men's 
bodies, but over their souls. "^ 

Of course no Catholic need be told that the Popes never put 
forth any such claim. The Church was, under God, the creator 
of the Christendom which arose on the ruins of the old Pagan 
world, and the veneration and gratitude of the peoples she had re- 
generated and moulded to civilization and Christian life attributed 
to their Mother all the authority and liberty which their filial love 
could bestow. 

The Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth, was the directing mind, 
the governing hand in the Church ; who could claim over the 
nations the moral power which naturally, spontaneously, flowed 
from his divinely-appointed office ? Peoples and kings gave to 
him willingly, lovingly, much more than he ever claimed. Read 
the life and writings of Pope St. Gregory the Great, and you will 
find in them the whole secret of the marvellous and salutary in- 
fluence of the Papacy in the Middle Ages. It was that of Moses 
and Aaron leading the Twelve Tribes from degradation and bond- 
age to freedom and nationality. It was that of Samuel ruling that 
nation within its own territory, standing between God and the 
people, and securing them against all temporal disasters so long as 
they listened to his voice and followed his guidance. 

Well, Photius separated the East from the Holy See, broke up 
the unity of Christendom, subjected the Greek Church to the des- 
potic yoke of the Byzantine emperors, and invited by the division 
and degeneracy thus created the Turks to destroy both Church 
and Empire. Has the Russian Church or the Russian people 
gained by setting aside, even in the social and international orders, 
the mediatorial offices and moral influence of Christ's Vicar? 

Has Luther, by breaking up the unity of Western Christendom 
and substituting Henry VIII., Prince Bismarck or the Marquis of 
Salisbury for the Pope and his Legates in the Government of the 
Church, or the settling of domestic difficulties within states them- 
selves, been less of a curse to humanity than his prototype, 
Photius ? 

Count Kamarowsky quotes, in support of his prejudiced asser- 
tions, the authority of the Protestant, Ward, who in 1795 pub- 
lished " An Inquiry into the Foundation and History of the Law of 
Nations in Europe." Not having the original English text, we 
translate from the French before us : " He who filled the Chair of 
Peter was to a certain point the master of Europe. In his quality 
of presumed mediator between heaven and earth, he decided who 

^ Ibidem. 

The Papacy as an International Tribunal. 301 

was right and who was wrong ; a great casuist when conflicts 
arose, he played toward kings, who recognized no tribunal above 
themselves, the role of censor and guardian of morals {custos 

" This zvas established a common tribunal for Europe in the circum- 
stances in which it was most needed. The zveak found a support in 
it; the poiverful a restraint; the divine st of ideas, that of justice, 
could manifest itself freely, and the head of Christendom could, in 
very deed, be a personage worthy of his rank. This institution 
would have been excellent if the Popes had not made an ill use of 
their position, and if the imperfection of our nature had allowed 
the union, in the hands of one man, of wisdom and virtue in the 
necessary measure." 

The translator of Count Kamarowsky's book, Mr. Sergius de 
Westman, a Russian himself and a distinguished diplomat, quotes 
in a foot-note a passage from Chateaubriand which not only refutes 
what is erroneous in the above passages, but completes the truth 
of the precious admissions of both the Russian professor and the 
English publicist. 

*' If one only takes a wider survey of the influence of 
Christianity on the political existence of the peoples of Europe, 
one cannot help seeing," says the illustrious Frenchman, " that 
religion saved them from famine, and saved our forefathers from 
their own mad passions, by proclaiming these truces called the 
peace of God, during which people gathered in their harvests and 
made their vintage. In the public troubles the Popes often showed 
themselves to be very great princes. They it was who, sounding 
the alarm, and organizing leagues, prevented Western Europe from 
becoming the prey of the Turks. This single service rendered by 
the Church to the world would deserve the raising of altars in her 

** Men undeserving of the name of Christians exterminated the 
native tribes of the New World, and the Court of Rome fulminated 
bulls to prevent such atrocities. Slavery was looked upon as 
legitimate ; but the Church would acknowledge no slaves among 
her children. . . . Kings became more circumspect; they felt that 
there was a power able to control them, and that the people had 
in that power a protecting aegis. The Rescripts of the Pontiffs 
never failed to mingle the voice of nations and the general interests 
of mankind with the complaints addressed to individuals. * We 
have heard that Philip, that Fei^dinaitd, that Henry is oppressing his 
people^ etc. . . . Such was the beginning of nearly all similar de- 
crees of the Court of Rome." 

But Chateaubriand has one paragraph which direcdy touches 

302 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

on the central idea of Count Kamarowsky's work : *' If there ex- 
isted," he says, " in the midst of Europe a tribunal that could judge, 
in the name of God, nations and sovereigns, and which could pre- 
vent wars and revolutions, — this tribunal would be the master- 
piece of political wisdom, and the last degree of social perfection. 
The Popes, by the influence which they exercised in the Christian 
world, were, for a moment, near realizing this beautiful dream. "^ 

Compare what Mr. Ward says above, in the passage we have 
underlined, of this Central Court or International Tribunal, and 
you will see how paltry are the objections raised by national or 
sectarian prejudice. 

We must here take leave of Count Kamarowsky and his book. 
We believe that the idea which he has developed with such scien- 
tific skill and such deep conviction of the truth, the necessity, and 
the practicability of the institution he advocates, will bear its fruit 
in the not distant future. 

We believe that the coming twentieth century will see in Rome, 
as a thing permanent and acknowledged by all nations, that Inter- 
national Tribunal, with the Papal authority as its central light, 
and side by side with the Pope, sovereign once more in his own 
city, will arise that College or School of International Jurispru- 
dence which will furnish to the Pope, in the exercise of his 
mediatorial functions or of his office as supreme arbitrator, the 
counsellors and assessors who will help him to secure the peace of 
the world, and thereby to forward all the glorious interests of 
human industry and Christian civilization. 

1 Chateaubriand, Gtnie du Christianisme. See the chapter in vol. ii., entitled 
Politique et Gouvernement. 

O'ConnelVs Correspondence. oq^ 


Correspondence of Daniel 0' Connell, the Liberator. Edited, with Notices 
of His Life and Times, by W. J. Fitzpatrick, F.S.A., author of the 
"Life, Times, and Correspondence of Bishop Doyle;" "Life and 
Timesof Lord Cloncurry," etc. Two volumes. New York : Long- 
mans, Green & Co. 1888. For sale by the Catholic Publication 
Society, New York. 

T^HAT " history repeats itself" is one of the tritest of sayings. 
-■' Never, perhaps, has the truth of the saying been more strongly 
exemplified than by the recent publication of the correspondence 
of Daniel O'Connell, a correspondence that throws a flood of light 
on the times in which that great man lived, of which he formed so 
great a part, of the long and uphill fight he fought, of the forces 
and agencies against which he had to contend, and of the whole 
story of the Irish struggle from the day he took it in hand until 
the day he laid it down only at death's door. 

To read the book, which has been edited by a master-hand, is, 
in its way, singularly like reading Ireland's story of to-day under 
her present political leader. Though the contrast between the 
genius and the characteristics of the two leaders, O'Connell and 
Parnell, is most marked, yet, in the main, we find Parnell following, 
whether consciously or not, very closely in the lines marked out 
and invented by O'Connell. The difference between the two is 
rather one of position and of time than of method. O'Connell was 
compelled to take up single-handed what seemed a hopeless . fight 
against all the prejudices and traditions, the order and regulations, 
of the most powerful empire of his time. At the beginning of the 
battle — of the war, rather — he had no following at his back save 
the heart of the Irish people, and that heart never failed him. A 
giant in intellect as in physique, a man on whom the Almighty had 
bestowed every quality and qualification needed to sustain him in 
his gigantic struggle, he succeeded in breaking down, not by a rush 
or lucky assault, but by the most skilful and calculated generalship, 
the barriers of centuries, the rooted bulwarks of systematized tyr- 
anny, oppression, resistance to the will of the people, and denial of 
civil and religious liberty to the Irish people in fact, but to all 
peoples in principle. It was he who opened the breach through 
which Parnell and his followers are marching to victory to-day. It 
was he who laid the true plan of campaign that is winning over 

304 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

England to-day to the Irish cause. It was he who, to adapt a 
phrase of the great Napoleon, found the crown of Ireland in the 
mire, and, picking it up, placed it, not on his own head, but on the 
head to which it belonged — the nation's. For it is plain from this 
correspondence that O'Connell was a republican by conviction, and 
regarded the government of the United States as the best of human 
governments. " You ask me," he writes to Sir Henry Jervis, of 
Wexford, an officer in the Royal Navy, who had addressed O'Con- 
nell in the bluff style of an old sailor, " who are to be understood 
as The People, the source of legitimate power." And here is his 
answer : 

*' I reply. All those not possessed of prerogative or privileged 
capacities. Not the king in his corporate capacity, — not the peers 
in their privileged state, — but all those who are neither king nor 
peers. In short, the Commons, for whose benefit the king ought 
to reign, and for whose benefit alone the privileges of the peers 
ought to exist 

" You presume to talk to me of the ' dregs ' of the people. Whom 
do you dare to call amongst the people by the abusive epithet of 

* dregs ? ' Not the rich and the titled, I warrant, but the laborious 
and the poor. Now, as to the poor and laboring classes, I will not 
allow you to claim any superiority over them. You thought fit to 
bestow your tediousness on me for a long half-hour, during which 
you condescended to exhibit to me your views on various local and 
general topics, and I can confidently assert that I have frequently 
received in five minutes, from one of the poor and laboring classes, 
more information and more sound views of public policy than I did 
from you in your entire half-hour. 

" Again, sir, you presume to assail the spirit of democratic lib- 
erty — the only rational spirit of freedom — by calling a democracy 

* the worst, the most brutal, and senseless of tyrannies.' How 
ignorant you must be of the first elements of political history, and 
how utterly blind to the scenes that are passing before your eyes. 

" What country in the world is it in which the national debt is 
on the verge of inevitable extinction ; in which taxation is on the 
point of being reduced to the lowest possible quantity ; in which 
peace reigns within its borders ; in which abundance crowns the 
labors of the fields ; in which commerce and domestic industry 
flourish and increase; in which individual happiness rewards the 
private virtue and enterprise of the citizens ; and which, in fine, is 
as honored abroad as it is prosperous at home? 

" What state is thus respected by foreign powers, and thus happy 
in its internal relations ? It is a democracy — a democracy without 
one single admixture of monarchial or aristocratical principle — 

G^CofinelPs Correspondence, 305 

Here, indeed, spoke a true tribune of the people. How far 
O'Connell's estimate, how far his prescience fell above or below the 
reality and the innate strength of this democratic power and people, 
may be left to the judgment of the reader. It should be remem- 
bered that he wrote that letter in 1834, when as yet the Republic 
of the United States was an infant, though a giant infant, among 
the nations and the powers of the world. At that time the gold- 
fields of California were not dreamed of, nor the cruel famine that 
created the Irish exodus to this country and broke the heart of 
O'Connell. Little did even he dream of the mighty growth that 
would spring from that famine. If ever there was need of conver- 
sion, the result of the Irish exodus was most surely to convert the 
Republic of the United States to the Irish cause ; at a time, too, 
when the Republic ranks foremost among the foremost powers of 
the world. 

It will be seen, from the letter quoted, that O'Connell, when 
dealing with an adversary, did not mince his words. He never 
minced them nor his meaning. It is said of him, even by admirers, 
that at times he was coarse in his language. Very possibly he 
was ; but he had constantly to deal with base assailants on whom 
the refined amenities of attack and retort would have been wasted 
His heart was warm in the fullest sense; and his mind followed 
rather than guided, the impulse of his heart. For personal enemies 
he cared nothing and had no enmity against them ; but against 
enemies of " the cause, the cause, the sacred cause," as he was 
constantly exclaiming of Ireland, he was a lion, who sprang with 
a lion's spring, roared with a lion's roar, and struck with a lion's 
paw. Between the ebullient passion of O'Connell and the frozen 
passion of Parnell there is a world of contrast ; yet underneath 
the surface the same fire burned. 

Yes, and both had the same forces to contend against ; enemies 
from within — spies, traitors, fanatics in the camp — as well as 
the host of enemies from without. Precisely the same forces, 
precisely the same agencies, were set at work and utilized by 
the English Government against O'Connell as against Parnell 
and his party to day. There was coercion; there was bribery 
and corruption ; there was abuse of the judicial power and packing 
of the juries; there was incitement to the people to revolt in 
order to justify the tyranny of the government; there was sub- 
ornation of the press — the London Times appears frequently 
in O'Connell's correspondence in exactly the same sense qs it has 
recently figured against Parnell ; there were appeals to strong 
fanaticism ; there were secret appeals to Rome to smite the arm 
of the Liberator ; there were in England men whom O'Connell 
characteristically describes as " crawling Cawtholics^'; there were in 
VOL. XIV. — 20 

3o6 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Ireland some, though not many, " Crown priests," and a few ultra- 
cautious prelates ; and there were the various secret societies which 
O'Connell dreaded most of all and which he regarded from first 
to last as the most dangerous enemies of Ireland and the greatest 
obstacles to the restoration of her liberties. How wise he was in 
this is sufficiently illustrated by the disclosures made by spies and 
informers before the Commission appointed to adjudicate on the 
" Parnellism and Crime " charges of the London Times. Add to 
this a series of inefficient Irish Viceroys and brutal Irish Secretaries, 
an army of military and police to suppress Irish patriotism, courts 
constituted to convict Irish patriots ; and some faint conception 
may be formed of what this one man accomplished in the way of 
Irish independence. Truly may it be said of him that he not only 
created a policy and a party, but he resurrected a nation. He was 
the Moses of his people. He was their law-giver. He it was 
who broke the bondage under which they had so long suffered ; 
who led them and upheld them in the weary and disheartening 
journey through the desert of despondency and despair; and who 
died at last without even a glimpse of the promised land. 

" Whoever," says Lecky, the historian, "turns over the magazines 
or newspapers of the period, must at once perceive how grandly 
O'Connell's figure dominated in politics — how completely he had 
dispelled the indifference that had so long prevailed on Irish 
questions — how clearly his agitation stands forth as the great 
event of the time." Greville, who was certainly English enough, 
and who knew courts and cabinets to the core, says in his 
"Memoirs'*: "History will speak of him as one of the most 
remarkable men who ever existed ; he will fill a great space in its 
pages ; his position was unique : there never was before, and there 
never will be again, anything at all resembling it." He attained 
to such a power that he made and unmade cabinets and ministries 
in England. He was more dreaded than a hostile army. His name 
and the principles which he advocated spread throughout Europe, 
throughout the civilized world, and lit the flame of freedom in 
every oppressed land. The crushed Catholics of France took fire 
from his teaching, and the founders of the Avenir, De Lammenais, 
Montalembert, Lacordaire, Ozanam, fairly worshipped him, and 
taking heart from his example, forced liberty of speech, freedom of 
worship, freedom of the press, freedom of Christian education, from 
a reluctant atheistical government. Pope Pius IX. paid one of the 
highest tributes to his character and genius as a statesman. The 
celebrated Father Ventura delivered one of the most eloquent 
panegyrics on him. The range of his power and influence was 
not confined to the British Empire, but extended far beyond. 
Though his heart throbbed first and always for the restoration of 

0' Connellys Correspondence. -507 

the liberties and self-government of Ireland, that heart embraced 
in its scope all oppressed peoples and turned against all tyrannical 
governments. His was a colossal vigor, and all who suffered under 
injustice looked to him for inspiration and guidance. His force as 
a statesman was not national alone ; it was international ; and his 
name is deservedly a word to conjure with in Ireland to this day, 
as it w ill be to all future time ; so long, at least, as Ireland is 
peopled by the Irish. In Ireland's history thus far, two great 
figures stand forth pre-eminently : the one, the Apostle; the other, 
the Liberator of Ireland. St. Patrick drew the people out of the 
darkness of Paganism ; O'Connell drew them out of the darkness 
of despotism. 

The life of O'Connell is sufficiently known to all students of Eng- 
lish and Irish history. Many biographies of him have appeared 
and many works by various authors in which he was made the 
central figure. Indeed, it is impossible to read the history, more 
especially the political history, of his time without finding the 
name and the presence of O'Connell on almost every page. In 
English politics he was the Warwick of his day : the king-maker, 
so far as the king's cabinet went. In Irish politics he was the 
Alpha and Omega ; so history must deal with him. But here for 
the first time we have his own story as told by himself in his 
letters to his family, his friends, his foes, his acquaintances ; liter- 
ally the story of his life from day to day, dashed off in the hurry 
of the few moments he could snatch from a multitude and tangle 
of cares and occupations that would be overwhelming to most 
men even of extraordinary capacity and business ability. On they 
pour : a constant torrent leaping from the great heart and mind 
and illustrating every phase of the simple yet many-sided char- 
acter of the man, illustrating also the history of the times. But 
through all, whether it be a loving message to his wife, to his 
children, a joyous or despondent letter to a friend, an appeal or 
rebuke to a political opponent, a communication to the press, a 
rollicking snack of the gossip of the hour, an exposition of a plan 
of action, a warning here, an exhortation there, a jubilant note or 
a wail of woe, there runs the same tone of a man with a fixed and 
great purpose, of a great heart, and none can read these letters, 
the outpourings of his inner soul, without feehngthe beatings and 
the throbbings of that heart which was invincible until it broke on 
what he thought to be the grave of his country. 

Nowhere does a man reveal himself so thoroughly as in the 
letters which, admirably collated and annotated, form the bulk of 
these volumes. Most of the letters were not intended for publica- 
tion ; and those which were intended for publication were written 
for the press of the day. Those, however, who would study 

3o8 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

O'Connell will study him at his best here. He was born in Au- 
gust, 1775, at Carhen, near Cahirciveen, County Kerry. He died 
in Genoa on his way to Rome in May, 1847. His life embraces 
a period of seventy-two years. His education began at Cove, near 
Cork. Thence, owing to the restriction placed on Catholic edu- 
cation by the English government, he was sent to St. Omer and 
afterwards to Douay. While in France he witnessed the outbreak 
of the first French revolution, and the horrors attending it left an 
indelible impression on his mind. The correspondence begins 
with letters from St. Omer ^* written in the large hand of a child." 
The child's letters are those of any college boy, but display a duti- 
ful spirit and affectionate heart. The correspondence ends with 
O'Connell's departure for the Rome he never lived to reach. 

In January, 1793, the boy, who was then eighteen years of age, 
wrote to his uncle Maurice from Douay, that *' the present state of 
affairs in this country is truly alarming ; the conduct the English 
have pursued with regard to the French in England makes us 
dread to be turned off every day. In case of a war with England 
this is almost inevitable." Uncle Maurice, who paid for the educa- 
tion of his nephews, immediately ordered them home on the receipt 
of this news. A John Sheares, who was afterwards hanged in the 
Irish rebellion of 1798, accompanied the boys from Calais to Dover. 
Sheares shocked O'Connell by exultingly exhibiting a handker- 
chief which he had soaked in the blood of Louis XVI. as it flowed 
from the scaffold. O'Connell was horrified at the acts of the Revo- 
lutionists and left France almost a Tory at heart, as he often said. 
When the English packet boat on which he sailed had got under 
way he tore the tricolor cockade, worn for safety at the time in 
France, into the sea. ** Some French fishermen, rowing past, 
cursed him," says Mr. Fitzpatrick, " as they reverently rescued the 
cockade." Such was one of the opening incidents in the dawning 
manhood of the author of the *' bloodless revolution" which to the 
last he advocated, and which has been so wisely and effectively 
taken up by his successor to-day. 

The story of the struggle for Catholic emancipation needs no 
re-telling here. It has long since gone into history as one of the 
greatest of political achievements in the face of what at the time 
were considered insurmountable obstacles. In order to emanci- 
pate a nation in the sense of recovering for it what, after all, was 
at the time but partial religious freedom, O'Connell had to con- 
quer a nation more powerful than imperial Rome in her palmiest 
days. He had to educate, not the English mind alone, but the 
Irish mind also. For Ireland had been so long under the ban and 
walking in the valley of the shadow of death, that the people had 
lost heart, or whatever heart was left to them found expression in 

O'ConneWs Correspondence, 30g 

the abortive attempts of casual secret societies, which accompHshed 
nothing, save to give excuse for the hand of the enemy pressing 
heavier on the unhappy land. It was his great ambition and 
achievement to organize the people and infuse his own heart, soul 
and intelligence into them. Nor in his purpose, terrible as he 
was in battle and volcanic in his wrath when thoroughly aroused, 
did he discriminate between the orange and the green. It was his 
wish from first to last to blend the colors into a national wreath 
to set upon the brow of Erin. If he failed in this magnanimous 
and patriotic desire, the fault of the failure lay neither with him 
nor with those, both Catholic and Protestant, who followed his 
lead and inspiration. 

" In 1800," says the editor, "O'Connell opposed the Union, and 
the day-dream of his life was its repeal. This was sternly de- 
manded in iSioby the Dublin Corporation, then held by ultra- 
Tories; and O'Connell hailed with joy the probable junction of 
orange and green." In the January of that year, O'Connell writes 
to Sir James Riddall, the High Sheriff of Dublin : " I entertain a 
very strong and, I will add, a very grateful sense of that patriotic 
zeal which instigates you to bring together your countrymen of 
every persuasion upon every occasion in your power. Believe 
me, I should feel sincere pleasure in any efforts of mine, however 
humble, to co-operate in the desirable result of combining all 
classes in mutual affection and in the common defence of our com- 
mon country." 

Here is struck the key-note of O'Connell's entire political ca- 
reer ; reconciliation, friendship, unity among all classes, castes and 
persuasions; equal civil and religious liberty for all; the two na- 
tions enjoying equal rights and privileges under the one crown. 
O'Connell constantly repudiated the idea of separation or dismem- 
berment of the British Empire, which, then, as now, was raised up, 
and with a like success, for the purpose of disorganizing the Lib- 
eral forces in England whom O'Connell had won over to the Irish 
cause, and of inflaming the passions of the Orangemen in Ireland. 

It was in 1805 that O'Connell took a lead in the Roman Catho- 
lic party of action, which was formed to force the Catholic claims 
on the English Parliament. Pitt, Fox, Grattan, and the old Cath- 
olic leader, Keogh, desired that the question be held in abeyance. 
The action at this stage of proceedings only amounted to a peti- 
tion to Parliament, presenting the claims. The old-school Catho- 
lics, under the advice of their few Liberal, or Whig, as the term 
then was, friends in Parliament were fearful of taking even that 
mild step. Not so O'Connell. His mind, even thus early, was 
doubtless wholly clear and fully made up as to the line of action 
to be pursued in order to fight the English government, though 

310 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

probably even he had not yet dreamed of hewing his way into the 
English Parliament. The attempt was at once made on the part 
of the government to attach an air of treason to the proceedings 
of the Catholic body and its committee. Mr. Pole stated in Parlia- 
ment that " if gentlemen would read the debates of the Catho- 
lic Committee, they would find separation openly and distinctly 
recommended." O'Connell, at a meeting held in Dublin, in Feb- 
ruary, 1812, replied: "Why, this is a direct accusation of high 
treason, and he who would assert it of me I would brand with the 
foulest epithets. I defy the slightest proofs to be given of its ve- 

O'Connell was already making himself felt in England as well 
as in Ireland. In Ireland he was the advocate of advocates, and 
could win over even a hostile jury in spite of itself and of all the 
ill-used power of the authorities. He came to be known as ^* the 
Counsellor," there only being one such in all Ireland. While pur- 
suing his professional duties with extraordinary ardor and success, 
pecuniarily and professionally, he was organizing the Catholic 
agitation throughout the country with such effect that the govern- 
ment began to take alarm and set its engines and agents at work 
to break or mar the agitation. Sir Arthur Wellesley writes (Nov. 
17th, 1808) from London to Dublin Castle : " I think that as there 
are some interesting Catholic questions afloat just now, you might 
feed with another ;^ioo." So much for him who was after- 
wards known as *^ the Great Duke," and whom O'Connell detested 
for his persistent hostility to Irish claims. Corruption was abroad. 
Resort was had to the revival of penal measures which it was 
thought had become dead letters. Anything to break up the 
Catholic agitation, as though it were a crime and a treason for a 
Catholic to claim his civil and religious rights, to avow and prac- 
tise his religion, and to claim his place in and under a government 
professing to be the freest under the sun. 

A proclamation was issued from Dublin Castle, in Feb., 181 1, 
requiring every sheriff and magistrate throughout Ireland to arrest 
all persons connected either actively or passively ^* in the late elec- 
tions for members or delegates to the General Committee of the 
Catholics of Ireland." As a consequence. Lord Fingall, the osten- 
sible head- of the movement, was arrested, together with several of 
his colleagues, and the movement was for the time being arrested 
with them, the year 18 14 closing in gloom "as regards the politi- 
cal prospects of the Catholics," writes O'Connell's son, John. Del- 
egation was destroyed ; but O'Connell, who justly boasted that he 
could drive a coach and six through any act of Parliament, kept 
the agitation alive by holding meetings for the purpose of prepar- 
ing petitions to Parliament. 

OConneWs Correspondence, 31 1 

O'Connell had now become such a force in political life that it 
was determined to destroy him at any cost. The government 
rightly recognized in him a born and trained leader of the people, 
in their eyes a most skilful and dangerous revolutionist. Noth- 
ing could terrify him, and he was so thorough a lawyer that he 
could not be entrapped. Those were dueling days, and challenges 
he received in abundance, for, as said already, he never minced his 
words, and his words struck home. In 181 5 occurred the famous 
duel with D'Esterre, a member of the Dublin Corporation, and 
noted for his nerve and knowledge of the use of arms. He actu- 
ally forced the duel on O'Connell and was killed for his pains. 
All the details of the duel tend to show that the authorities took 
more than a friendly interest in D'Esterre's action, the fatal result 
of which was a life-long sorrow to O'Connell, who atoned as best 
he could by greatly befriending D'Esterre's family afterwards. 

D'Esterre was by no means the only man who called O'Connell 
out, nor was he the only man whom O'Connell offered to meet. 
Between O'Connell, Peel and Stanley, who were in turn chief sec- 
retaries for Ireland and who exercised that office in much the 
same spirit that Mr. Balfour exercises it to-day, there was a set- 
tled hostility. Both of those statesmen scored against O'Connell 
heavily at times, but on the whole he was more than a match for 
both, and on one occasion he so stung Peel, who was at the time 
chief secretary, that the latter sent him a challenge, and a meet- 
ing was arranged for on the Continent. Rumors of the affair got 
abroad. Both men were ready for the fray. O'Connell reached 
London in safety ; but the authorities being on the watch he was 
arrested when stepping into a chaise for Dover, and there was the 
end of the affair, the collisions of the two statesmen being after- 
wards confined to parliamentary warfare in the clash of debate. 
His affair with Disraeli, whom he had so strongly befriended 
when the future Tory premier of England was entering on his 
political career as a Radical, is notorious. But by that time 
O'Connell had very wisely and properly got over his duelling pro- 
pensities. He could afford to disregard such challenges, and he 
did so on the highest ground, that duelling was an offense not 
only against the law of the land, but against the divine law. Later 
on Disraeli, who turned on Peel just as he had turned on O'Con- 
nell, found cause bitterly to rue his treacherous attacks on the 
Irish chief In an election in 1835, on the result of which the 
safety of the Tory administration largely depended, the Tories were 
badly beaten, mainly through O'Connell's influence. " Henry 
Stanley," wrote Disraeli, '* who had promised me to vote for Sut- 
ton, voted for Abercromby. O'Connell is so powerful that he says 
he will be in the cabinet. It is the Irish Catholic party that has 

312 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

done all the mischief." And to drop the duelling episodes, here is 
a characteristic description by O'Connell himself of a duel in which 
a relative of his was one of the principals : Writing to his son, 
Morgan, he asks : " Did you hear of the great duel in Ennis between 
Charles O'Connell and Mr. Wall ? The latter abused a relation of 
Charley's, a Mr. Blood, and Charley knocked Wall down. They 
then fought, fired a shot each, came home safe and arm-in-arm 
together, got tipsy in company with each other, went together to 
the ball and danced till morning." 

Strange, indeed, it seems, now that the victory has been long 
since won, to reflect on the blind obstinacy and malignant stupidity 
with which the English government and crown fought the granting 
of the natural and divine right of religious freedom to the Catho- 
lics. The opposing governments were, in the main, Tory, for the 
Whigs, whether from motives of policy or conscience, once the cry 
and agitation for Catholic emancipation were systematically raised, 
took up the cry and soon allied themselves with O'Connell, timid 
as they were at the beginning of the struggle. Stanley, afterwards 
Lord Derby, and who succeeded Peel in the leadership of the 
Tories, with the ex-Radical Disraeli as his crafty lieutenant, on 
being charged later on with deserting his Tory colors, made the 
flippant answer : " Anything to dish the Whigs." Possibly at the 
time when O'Connell had aroused his countrymen to the sense of 
no longer waiting, but creating and shaping, circumstances to their 
own favor and necessities, the thought of the Whigs in joining him 
was anything to beat the Tories, who were then all-powerful, and 
who resisted as strenuously electoral reform in England as reform 
of any kind in Ireland. It has been said of the Bourbons that 
" they never learn, and never forget." That saying precisely char- 
acterizes the Tories of the present as of the past. The Welling- 
tons, the Peels, the Stanleys, and their followers of the earlier part 
of the century, are but earlier editions of the Salisburys and Bal- 
fours of to-day, at all events in their policy towards Ireland. Dis- 
raeli was the only Tory leader who could boast with justice that 
he had ** educated up " his party to some measure of liberal ideas. 
Salisbury has fallen back on the old Tory tracks, the old Tory 
methods, the old Tory deceits, and the old Tory contempt for 
public opinion, which in the end will surely overwhelm him and 
his party. 

Some of the Crown lawyers proposed that the King should ex- 
ercise a veto in the appointment of Catholic bishops, who were 
few enough and far enough between. To O'Connell's grief, Grat- 
tan, then in the English Parliament, and whose glory had not yet 
gone out, joined the vetoists, notwithstanding that, Protestant as he 
was, he had been one of the most eloquent advocates of Catholic 

O'ConneWs Correspondence, 313 

emancipation. O'Connell expressed his astonishment at this defec- 
tion in a touching yet emphatic manner, which gave such offence 
to the then aging Grattan that in 18 15 he decHned to take charge 
of the petition for emancipation. That was bad enough in its way, 
but it was a still greater shock to find Dr. Murray, the future 
Archbishop of Dublin, two years later supporting the veto. Dr. 
Murray, an extremely cautious prelate, between whom and Dr. 
MacHale, the famous Archbishop of Tuam, occurred many a tilt 
later on regarding Irish national affairs, was what in these days 
would be described as a " Castle Bishop." Furthermore the Tories 
then as now had been working on Rome, such a Rome as under 
the sway of Bonaparte was allowed to exist, to use its influence 
against the Irish national movement. The Pope was a captive in 
the hands of Napoleon, and during his imprisonment Monsignor, 
afterwards Cardinal, Quarantotti acted as the Pope's vicegerent. 
In 1 814 Mgr. Quarantotti addressed a rescript to Dr. Poynter, 
the bishop of the London district, conceding the veto. But then, 
as now, there were prelates in Ireland who, perfectly acquainted 
with the situation, were not afraid to speak their minds. **The 
result of this pernicious avowment," wrote Dr. O'Shaughnessy, 
Bishop of Killaloe, " if acted upon, would be fatal to the Catholic 
religion ; therefore I hasten to protest against it, and while I have 
breath in my body will continue to do so." And Dr. Coppinger, 
Bishop of Cloyne, described the rescript as " a very dangerous 
document," adding : '* In common with every real friend to the in- 
tegrity of the Catholic religion in Ireland, I read it with feelings of 
disgust and indignation." 

Dr. Murray, who was assistant with right of succession to Arch- 
bishop Troy, had previously compared the vetoists to Judas. " As 
to Dr. Troy," writes O'Connell, " better could not be expected from 
him. His traffic at the Castle is long notorious. . . . You cannot 
conceive anything more lively than the abhorrence of these veto- 
istical plans amongst the people at large. I really think they will 
go near to desert all such clergymen as do not now take an active 
part on the question. The Methodists were never in so fair a way 
of making converts." O'Connell afterwards came to esteem Arch- 
bishop Murray as a man "peculiarly formed to conquer prejudice 
and abash calumny." The Knight of Kerry, prominent in social 
and political circles at the time, took charge of the Catholic peti- 
tion which Grattan had dropped, and it is interesting to note that 
he was ably assisted by Sir Henry Parnell. 

To go into the details of the movement for Catholic emancipa- 
tion, as given in this correspondence, would in itself consume an 
article. The letters bearing on it, however, form most instructive 
and interesting reading. It is enough to say that through all 
O'Connell was most firm and loyal to the faith. He would have 

314 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

no compromise in the matter. In 1821 Mr. Plunkett, a prominent 
Irish member, but of course not a Catholic, for Catholics were not 
then eligible to a seat in Parliament, introduced an unsatisfactory 
Catholic Relief Bill, for the third reading of which two hundred 
and sixteen members voted against one hundred and ninety-seven. 
Lord Eldon opposed the Bill in the House of Lords " on account 
of the danger with which it threatened the State." Much to 
O'Connell's delight this " rascally Catholic bill," as he called it, 
was thrown out. 

In 1825 a "Bill to Suppress the Catholic Association" was in- 
troduced in the House of Commons, and Shiel and O'Connell were 
sent as a deputation to argue the case as counsel at the bar of the 
House. Their arrival in England excited much curiosity, and they 
were received with distinction everywhere. O'Connell's letters at 
this time, his impressions of the House (in which he was to become 
so great a figure), of the English people, of the English leaders and 
notables, are as racy as could be. He utilized his opportunity to 
work upon the feelings and intelligence of the English people, much 
as Parnell, in one of his strong speeches, appealed from the judg- 
ment of a hostile Tory Ministry to " the great heart of England." 
O'Connell's gigantic figure and noble countenance and bearing 
attracted the attention and admiration of all. An amusing incident 
occurred at Wolverhampton, where they arrived with whetted appe- 
tites in early morning. It was Lent, and there was a profusion of 
everything but Lenten fare. Their eyes lingered longingly on what 
Shiel calls " an unhallowed round of beef, which seemed to have 
been placed on the breakfast table to lead us into temptation." 
But O'Connell, who, as the correspondence shows, was most 
observant of all his religious duties, exclaimed : " Recollect that 
you are in sacred precincts ; the terror of the Vetoists has made 
Wolverhampton holy." The " terror of the Vetoists " was the 
venerable and illustrious Bishop Milner, who, in the face of the 
majority of his fellow-Catholic countrymen, and to his own great 
personal suffering, stood out so nobly against the Veto. 

O'Connell was lionized wherever he went. Dr. Bathurst, the 
Protestant Bishop of Norwich, and, to his honor, an ardent advo- 
cate of Catholic emancipation, sent Sir Henry Parnell to ask 
O'Connell to honor him with a visit. O'Connell complied, and "a 
fine, lively old gentleman he is," wrote O'Connell to his " darling 
Heart," one of the multitude of endearing titles he has for his 
wife. " He is full of anxiety for Catholic emancipation, and I pray 
God he may live to be a Catholic himself." Singularly enough, 
by God's grace, the Bishop's son and daughter were converted to 
the Catholic faith. 

O'Connell had great hopes of the success of this mission. 

G'ConneWs Corresporidence, 315 

" Darling, darling," he writes in his customary fashion to his wife, 
" since I wrote the word * free ' I have been under examination 
(before the Committee of the House of Commons). Call my chil- 
dren together; tell Danny (his youngest son) to fling up his cap 
for old Ireland. I have now no doubt but that we shall be eman- 
cipated." How the man's heart burns within him with zeal for the 
cause and love for his wife and family. Such ebullitions con- 
stantly occur; and, on the other hand, his dejection when things 
went ill was just as mournfully expressed. At such moments his 
heart was an ^olian harp, swung by the breeze of events, and 
giving out its soul and its sorrow in the saddest yet most beautiful 

O'Connell's hopes were rudely broken. The Duke of York, 
then heir apparent to the throne, whom O'Connell thought he had 
won over, rose in the House of Lords, presented petitions against 
Emancipation, recalled his father's "conscientious antagonism" to 
it, and declared that in whatever situation in life he might be 
placed, he would adhere to the principles thus enunciated, " so 
help me God ! " The mission was a failure save in so far as help- 
ing to enlighten the English mind on the real and great grievances 
and disabilities under which the Catholic people of Ireland suf- 
fered. Ireland a little later contained a population of nine millions, 
the vast majority of whom were Catholics. How sadly that fine 
population has been depleted is known ; but the depletion, sad as 
it is, has at least had one providential result, in spreading the Irish 
race and propagating it over all civilized lands, and raising up a 
new Ireland wherever the martyr seed fell, especially on the soil 
of English speaking peoples. 

O'Connell went back to Ireland, empty-handed it is true, but 
more determined than ever to wring emancipation out of the heart 
of the Government. At last he made the resolve to cut the Gor- 
dian knot with the sword of Alexander. The Clare election came 
on, and in a stirring appeal, written off-hand, to his fellow-country- 
men, he asked their votes to elect him as their representative to 
Parliament. Here is how he put the case as against Sir Vesey 
Fitzgerald, who was considered to own the county : 

" You will be told I am not qualified to be elected ; the asser- 
tion, my friends, is untrue. I am qualified to be elected, and to be 
your representative. It is true that as a Catholic I cannot, and of 
course never will, take the oaths at present prescribed to members 
of Parliament ; but the authority which created these oaths— the 
Parliament — can abrogate them ; and I entertain a confident hope 
that, if you elect me, the most bigoted of our enemies will see the 
necessity of removing from the chosen representative of the people 

3i6 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

an obstacle which would prevent him from doing his duty to his 
King and to his country. 

" The oath at present required by law is : ' That the sacrifice of 
the Mass, and the invocation of the blessed Virgin Mary and other 
Saints, as now practised in the Church of Rome, are impious and 
idolatrous.' Of course I will never stain my soul with such an 
oath. I leave that to my honorable opponent, Mr. Vesey Fitz- 
gerald. He has often taken that horrible oath ; he is ready to take 
it again, and asks your votes to enable him to swear. I would 
rather be torn limb from limb than take it. Electors of the county 
Clare, choose between me, who abominate that oath, and Mr. 
Vesey Fitzgerald, who has sworn it full twenty times ! Return me 
to Parliament, and it is probable that such a blasphemous oath 
will be abolished forever." 

Here at last was the gauntlet thrown down. Petition and 
appeal, which had proved profitless, yielded to an open declaration 
of war. The Government was astounded and amazed, as was the 
entire kingdom. They were challenged on the lines of the English 
Constitution, and they shrank from the challenge ; for O'Connell 
in his address declared that if returned he would " vote for every 
measure favorable to radical reform in the representative system, 
so that the House of Commons may truly, as our Catholic ances- 
tors intended it should do, represent all the people." He called 
for " a more equal distribution of the overgrown wealth of the 
Established Church in Ireland, so that the surplus may be restored 
to the sustentation of the poor, the aged, and the infirm." It is 
said of some men that they are in advance of their time. That is 
often true, and it was very true in O'Connell's case. But such men 
drop seeds which fructify in after-time, though the man who sowed 
them may be forgotten. Ireland had to wait for Mr. Gladstone's 
disestablishment of the Irish church — that " deadly upas tree," as 
he called it — to see O'Connell's idea carried out. In the same 
address he aVowed his purpose to bring " the question of the 
repeal of the Union, at the earliest possible period, before the con- 
sideration of the legislature." Well might Lecky say that eman- 
cipation was won by " the unaided genius of a single man." Re- 
peal of the Union was O'Connell's expression for the Home Rule 
demand of to-day. 

His countrymen rallied to their leader. Fitzgerald, with all his 
local influence and all the power of the government at his back, 
was beaten in such a manner as to indicate to the government that 
a new Ireland had arisen under a new leader. " Years after," says 
the editor of the correspondence, " Peel admitted that he was per- 
fectly overwhelmed " by O'Connell's victory. 

And with reason was he owerwhelmed. For it was not the 

C^ConneWs Correspondence, 317 

Premier or the Tory Government that was now on trial before the 
eyes of England and the world, but the English Constitution and 
England's pretensions to be a true representative government. The 
Clare election secured Catholic Emancipation, Peel being com- 
pelled to introduce the Bill, and the Act of Emancipation received 
a most reluctant "royal" assent on April 13th, 1829. Through 
what ages of untold suffering and sorrow had Ireland to wait for 
this act of simple justice ! 

O'Connell was elected in 1828, but he never occupied his seat 
until the passing of the Emancipation Act. Then came the mem- 
orable scene in the House of Commons. Stupid and bigoted to 
the last, the majority of the House decided that O'Connell could 
not take his seat unless he took the oath obligatory on all mem- 
bers at the time of his election, the oath which he had declared 
he would rather be torn limb from limb than take. When intro- 
duced into the House, the excitement, we are told, was intense, 
and expressed itself in a breathless silence among the packed 
assembly. The Speaker called upon him to take the oath. He 
asked to see it, and on its being handed to him he read it carefully, 
though of course he knew it by heart. Then rang out in that 
silent assembly of England's legislators the immortal utterance : 
*' I see in this oath one assertion as to a matter of fact which I 
knozv to be false. I see in it another assertion as to a matter of 
opinion which I believe to be untrue. I therefore refuse to take 
that oath," and, as Mr. Richard O'Connell, B. L., an eye-witness 
of the scene, says, " with an expression of the most profound con- 
tempt, he flung the card from him on the table of the House." 
" The House," says the same witness, " was literally ' struck of 
a heap.' No other phrase that I know of but that quaint, old- 
fashioned one can accurately describe the feeling of amazement 
that pervaded Parliament for some minutes after the card was thus 
contemptuously flung on the table." Naturally; for it was the 
sound of the tocsin of civil and religious liberty, not alone in Eng- 
land, but in the very midst of England's Senate and in the halls 
of England's legislature. 

O'Connell, refusing to take the abominable oath, was refused his 
seat, and a new writ was issued for Clare only to result in a re- 
election. The Gordian Knot that barred the religious liberty of 
a people was cut in twain. There was an end of the oath, and 
O'Connell entered Parliament as its foremost man. Incidentally, 
while the fight over his admission was still being waged, he writes 
to a friend in London : ** Have you heard of the conduct of the 
English Catholics towards me ? They have a club here called the 
• Cis-Alpine,' a bad name, you will say. They had been much 
divided amongst themselves, and were now about all to reunite. 

3i8 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

I agreed to be proposed into it, when, behold ! they met the day 
before yesterday and black-beaned me. 

'* However, I beheve it has knocked up the club, as Howard, of 
Carby, and several others at once declared that they would never 
again come near it. 

" Mr. Blount has behaved exceedingly well on this occasion ; 
no man could behave better. I believe there are many of them 
highly indignant at the conduct of the rest ; and, at all events, I 
heartily forgive them all. But it was a strange thing of them to 
do ; it was a comical testimonial of my services in emancipating 
them. It would be well, perhaps, if I could un-ema?icipate some 
of them." 

This was the class of Catholics against whom Bishop Milner had 
to contend so strongly ; and, as recent events have shown, England 
is not yet rid of them. 

Stress has been laid upon this portion of the correspondence, 
for, after all, the conquest of Catholic Emancipation was at once 
the turning-point and the crowning-point in O'Connell's career. 
After that great conquest, which opened the way to all the reforms 
and redresses since gained for Ireland, and none of which were 
absent from his mind and plan for the regeneration of his country, 
the Liberator, as he was justly titled, entered into and became a 
power in imperial politics. He resented the confirmed idea that 
Ireland was a mere province of England. It was more than that. 
It was a distinct people and nation from the English, willing enough 
to act loyally with and under the English crown and constitution, 
provided that that crown and constitution acted loyally, and as 
became a civilized government, towards the Irish people. England, 
under the combined persuasion of Gladstone and of Parnell and 
their followers, is coming to realize the force and the truth of the 
stand taken by O'Connell. His purpose was to create a real union 
of amity and comity between England and Ireland, and to abolish 
the unreal union that was born in corruption and maintained by 
cruelty and force of arms. That is the purpose of the Irish leaders 
and of the Irish people to-day. His desire was to bring the Irish 
and the English peoples together, not by chaining and sacrificing 
the weaker to the stronger, but by joining hands and hearts in 
community of interests. 

And here, to drop the correspondence a moment, is it not strange 
— to use the mildest expression — that a great power like England 
should persistently persevere in maiming its right arm ? For Ire- 
land is, or surely might be, made the right arm of England. It 
ought to be clear by this time, even to the dullest English mind, 
that the Irish people are not, never were, and can never coosent 
to be, British helots ; hewers of wood, drawers of water to a cruel 

O'ConnelPs Correspondence. 310 

and merciless power— a nation butchered to make an English 
holiday. The Irish people do not ask for separation from Eng- 
land. They ask only for their inalienable right of looking after 
their own affairs, a right conceded to the English colonies. If 
they are driven into conspiracy against English dominion, on 
which side lies the blame ? In " Lothair " Disraeli, who lived and 
grew to become one of England's most powerful and astute pre- 
miers, exposed the workings of the modern secret societies in Eu- 
rope. In some respects the romance, or whatever it may be called, 
was an outrage on Catholics. But if it be true that " the devil can 
cite scripture for his purpose," it is equally true that the devil is 
sometimes forced to speak the truth in spite of himself. In all the 
countries where the chief agent of the secret societies was working 
to create a general uprising and the overthrow of everything exist- 
ing in order to return to the worship of Madre Natura, he paused 
at Ireland. The revolutionary spirit the Irish had, and cause for 
it, but not the revolution he desired. There was no Madre NaUira, 
no mother-nature worship for them. "The priest, the priest," 
stood in the gap. What a testimony from such a man to the power 
of Catholic truth on a loyal Catholic people ! And yet, through 
all O'Connell's correspondence it is seen that the Catholic Church, 
the Catholic faith, the Catholic prelate or priest, the Catholic Irish, 
are the nightmare of the Crown and of the successive Tory min- 
istries. In point of fact, to be a Catholic was to be a criminal and 
an enemy of the state. The small Orange patch in Ireland received 
all the favor of the crown and of the authorities ; the Catholic 
people were, as of old, the " mere Irish " without the pale. Much 
as Ireland has advanced in civil and religious freedom since those 
dark days, the same vicious tradition prevails on the part of the 
Crown and the government. When Mr. Gladstone proposed the 
disestablishment of the Anglican Church in Ireland, the Orange 
faction rose and declared that if the measure were passed they 
would kick the Queen's crown into the Boyne. The measure was 
passed in the face both of Orangeism and Toryism. There was 
a strong Orange conspiracy, of which the correspondence treats, 
against the very accession of the Queen to the throne, an acession 
which O'Connell hailed with delight as introducing a new order 
and a liberal reign. His allusions to the Queen are frequent and 
most loyal, affectionate, even, in their expression. Were he living 
to-day he might possibly take on a different tone. It is the same 
Queen who, in a speech from the throne inspired by Lord Salisbury, 
insisted that measures should be taken to protect her 'loyal peo- 
ple " in Ireland — the Orange faction : the loyal people who con- 
spired against her accession and threatened to kick her crown into 
the Boyne if she dared give her sanction to the aoolishing of one 

320 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

of the grossest abuses that ever existed. It was to the passions of 
these same loyal people that the Tories appealed when Mr. Glad- 
stone introduced his measure for the better government of Ireland. 
It was this loyal people who declared that even if the measure were 
passed and became law they would never obey it, but fight to the 
death against it. This faction, this fraction of the Irish population, 
have been encouraged by successive governments in the belief 
that they are a law unto themselves. And to fan their passions at 
a passionate time went over the Tory Lord Randolph Churchill, 
whose mission resulted in deplorable riot and bloodshed ; and as 
though he had not done harm enough, Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, 
once supposed to be a Radical leader, but who deserted Mr. Glad- 
stone when that great statesman presented his measure for the 
better government of Ireland, followed in Churchill's wake for the 
same despicable purpose of fomenting, instead of allaying, disorder. 
It will be seen from all this how truly history repeats itself, es- 
pecially in the relations between England and Ireland. O'Con- 
nell tried hard to win over the Orange faction to reason, justice 
and patriotism. In this he failed utterly, as Parnell has failed. 
He turned from them to Protestant and liberal England. There 
he succeeded much better ; for the English, though slow to move 
out of old ruts, and slow as a people to grasp a new idea, when 
they do move, move once for all. They have been moving in the 
right direction ever since O'Connell awakened their senses and 
set them thinking and going. Mr. Parnell has caught and nobly 
wrought on the same idea. The liberation of Ireland is to come 
from England. It cannot be won by force of arms. Appeal to 
force of arms, secret or open, O'Connell always deprecated and 
condemned, at a time when Ireland had nine and not four millions 
of inhabitants. His appeal was to reason, to justice, to the Con- 
stitution of England. That is the appeal of Mr. Parnell. Since 
first the English crossed the Channel and gained a footing in Ire- 
land, there began a war of race, to which, on the apostacy of the 
English crown and nation, was added a war of religion. Both in 
race and religion the Irish have through centuries proved them- 
selves invincible. All the power of England has been exerted for 
centuries to crush the soul, the life, the faith out of the Irish 
people. The Irish people have contributed mightily to the growth 
of England's power. They have given her statesmen ; they have 
given her generals; they have given her armies ; they have given 
her lights in law and literature. And in return England has given 
this loyal and noble people — what ? Coercion and starvation. Is it 
not time to change this policy, and win rather than antagonize 
such a people ? 

CConneWs Correspondence, -321 

That question may be left to the contemplation of the English 
nation and English statesmen. Would it not be better, from any 
point of view, for England to have a contented and prosperous 
Ireland at her side, hand in hand with her, rather than a discon- 
tented and impoverished people ? Ranters of note have said be- 
fore, and say to-day, that the Irish are not fitted for self-govern- 
ment. Mr. James Anthony Froude is one of these. They are 
certainly not fitted for the government which England has given 
them, a far worse and harsher government than that from which 
the North American colonies broke away to create the United 
States. A people who can produce O'Connells and Parnells, men 
who can call up and keep together parties strong enough to hold 
the balance between the rival parties in England, surely shows 
power of self-government. Mr. Parnell and his brilliant band of 
followers have for years been driving O'Connell's coach and six, 
not through acts of Parliament alone, but through Parliament it- 
self; and all the world testifies to the consummate skill of the 
present Irish leader, who has had to endure the same calumnies, 
the same assaults on every side, the same difficulties and dangers 
as O'Connell. He has met them and overcome them. His com- 
plete victory over the aspersions of the London Times, which was 
only in this matter a mouthpiece and organ of a treacherous gov- 
ernment, has made a profound impression on England. O'Con- 
nell had to endure the most ferocious attacks from the same 
Times, under the kinsmen of the present proprietor. When the 
Times attacks the Irish leaders with such calculated virulence, it 
is simply attacking the Irish people. The press throughout the 
world must rejoice at the exposure of a great journal which places 
a premium on fraud and frauds. But what of the government 
which uses it for that very purpose ? 

The last days of O'Connell were clouded. His heart was with 
his people, to whom famine came ; that fearful famine that deci- 
mated the country and formed a more powerful argument than 
even his genius had conceived against English rule in Ireland. 
His correspondence reveals to us a most beautiful and unselfish 
character; a character, indeed, unique in history. History he 
made and unmade, but always in the direction of freedom, religion 
and light. His life was full of good as well as of great deeds. 
The most pious expressions run naturally through his letters. 
Some of those letters, written in the pressure of great events, to 
members of his family, are worthy of a St. Francis de Sales. His 
death was a holy death. His last days were given to prayer and 
devotion. To his country he gave all that God gave to him. And 
the altar of Ireland's resurrection will be built on O'Connell. 
VOL. XIV. — 21 

322 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 


Memoire sur les Biens des Jesuites en Canada, par un Jesuite. Montreal, 

Jesuits' Estates. Answer to . . . the Montreal Star. By. U. E. L. 

SOME of the papers in this country and in Canada, with a small 
portion of the population in the neighboring Dominion, have 
recently been exerting their utmost efforts to environ with religious 
prejudice a question in itself simple and easy of solution. This was 
the final disposition by the Canadian government of certain large 
estates which had passed from the hands of the British govern- 
ment to the hands of the provinces ; estates which had been held 
by a strange tenure and were a constant source of discussion and 

While the people of Canada, with a slight military force from 
France, were endeavoring to hold the province against England 
and her colonies at the south, Louis XV., through his parliaments, 
drove the members of the Society of Jesus from their houses, con- 
fiscated their property, and exiled most of the members. The fail- 
ure of the French arms left Canada in the possession of England, 
before the French authorities could enforce their decrees there. 

By the surrender of Montreal, Amherst guaranteed the people 
liberty to exercise their religion, and the treaty of peace extended 
this to all parts of Canada. England, however, made one restric- 
tion. While the religious orders of women, the Ursulines and 
Hospital Nuns, Sisters of the Congregation, and Mme. d'Youville's 
Sisters of Charity were left free to pursue the work appropriate to 
each institute, the Jesuits and Recollects, or Reformed Franciscans, 
then in Canada were not viewed with as much favor, and their 
future hung in the uncertain scales of doubt. 

Amherst refused to agree to the proposition that the Jesuits, 
Sulpicians and Recollects should retain their property, and the 
Jesuits and Sulpicians should continue to present to certain par- 
ishes, as they had hitherto done. It is left in doubt whether both 
clauses or only the latter was objected to. The fact is that the 
three communities were left in possession of their property, and the 
Sulpicians have never been disquieted. 

The capitulation, however, gave the religious communities the 
right to sell their landed property, if they preferred to leave the 
colony. As it had guaranteed by the 33d article that all the re- 

The Jesuit Estates in Canada, 323 

Hgious communities and all priests should retain the right of prop- 
erty and enjoyment of the seigneuries and other estates possessed 
by them in the colony, the right to sell covered the whole ground. 

The treaty of Paris granted the liberty of the Catholic religion 
to the inhabitants of Canada, and allowed those who preferred to 
leave the colony to sell their estates within eighteen months, but 
required that they be sold to British subjects. It may be asked 
whether this necessarily included the religious communities. On 
this point there can be no doubt, for Martinique, like Canada, 
passed into the hands of England during this same war, and was 
given up by France. There the Jesuits actually sold their prop- 
erty after the island had passed under the British flag. 

During the war some of the Jesuit property was occupied by 
the British authorities, including part of their college at Quebec," 
but this was simply to meet the exigencies of military occupation, 
and affected no rights of property. 

The territory west of the Mississippi was retained by France, 
and there the acts of the French parliaments against the Jesuits were 
copied and enforced. The Louisiana authorities seized all the 
Jesuit property, and not only that, but some of their over-zealous 
officials crossed the Mississippi and pretended to seize and sell the 
property of the Society of Jesus at Kaskaskia and even at Vin- 
cennes, although these little towns were on British soil, and no 
longer subject to the French crown. The territory northwest of 
the Ohio was not at first governed by England as part of Canada, 
but made a military district under General Gage. That comman- 
der and his officers treated the