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kle among the wheat, but even long after the Lord of the harvest has ordered it to be gathered into his barns.

Catholicism has been an indubitable and obvious factor in Western civilization for at least eighteen centuries past. Though, in a sense, it has always been on its trial, frequently fighting what to the over-confident outsider has inevitably appeared as here and there a losing battle, it has successfully encountered three remarkable crises in its long career wherein the secret of its amazing vitality has all but palpably been revealed. These crises have long formed one of the common-places of the picturesque ecclesiastical historian; but familiarity can never stale their significance for him who holds, as the Catholic seems bound to do, that the past is a key to the enigma of the present much more than the present is a key to the enigma of the past ; that if God is in heaven, he is in history too, and that his Son is in the midst of the world, slowly shaping it, through its own sins and blunders, to that image of himself which he holds up for human guidance in the age long growth of an indefectible Church. “A man,” says the late Mark Pattison, “who does not know what has been thought by those who have gone before him, is sure to set an undue value upon his own ideas."

The melancholy truth needs to be applied to centuries and epochs and to men in the mass as well as to men considered in their separate lives. Wisdom looks backward as well as forward; and never lets go of the sheer continuity of things. The crises of which we speak were separated by wide intervals of time; and the first one came when Catholicism was unwittingly put upon its trial at Alexandria in the earlier outbreaks of Gnosticism and afterwards under Pantænus and Origen.

It is no part of the scope of this essay to dwell upon the details of the movement which took its rise in the intellectual. ism of that period; but we know how Catholicism emerged from the test. If it spoke thenceforth with a conservatism more unyielding than any that ever characterized it before, it did so with an altered accent that enabled it to lay a spell upon all that was best and most representative in Greek genius for the next two centuries to come. It proved then, what it has proved many a time since, amid circumstances not wholly dissimilar, in drift at least, that the truths which it had inherited from Christ through a handful of Galilean peasants, could be substantially reformulated in the most elusive terms of current philosophy without losing any of that meaning for the solitary conscience or forfeiting any of that personableness, so to call it, which is ever found to attach to them in the presence of “men of good will."

Another and hardly less insidious crisis was successfully encountered nearly a thousand years later when Scholasticism became perilously articulate in the undisciplined universities of Western Europe, and when “ Aristotle, who had made men atheistic” at Alexandria, was now declared capable of making them intelligently Christian at Paris, under the guidance of a young Dominican friar, whose name, mysteriously suspect at first, began after an interval to be quoted with unusual honor in the schools.

At length, when Scholasticism had more than accomplished. its mission, and become, in consequence, like a worn-out beast of burden, a parable and a derision to the wits of a generation that owed not a little of its mental wealth to so demoded a source, the last and most familiar crisis came under the stress of a problem which, in many senses, may be said still tragically to endure. It was the crisis known popularly as the Reformation; the most difficult, perhaps the most poignant, crisis that Catholicism will ever know. For the first time in its history the religious, as distinct from the moral or political, unity of Western Christendom, was effectively broken up. What was worse, the break seemed in a very short while to be irretrievable and permanent; and dissidence suddenly found itself in the enjoy. ment of a numerical importance and a political prestige, for which it is impossible to find a parallel in Church annals, until we go back to the brief but triumphant progress of Arianism during the strenuous sixty years that were ushered in by the great pronouncement at Nicæa. Though the Reformation, with its peculiar ethos, has gone, the pressure created by its problems is on us still. One detects it in the sharper emphasis laid upon the idea of authority, and in the more pronounced preference manifested for practical, as apart from purely speculative, questions of theology, which have been so distinctive a note of the schools of Latin Christianity since the days of Trent.

While each one of the three crises which we have described will be found on examination to have its own individual quality, conditioned largely, of course, by the spiritual fibre of the epoch that produced it, the two earlier may be said to be pre

dominantly intellectual in tone. In making this assertion we do not mean to imply that there were no moral issues involved. On the contrary, not only under the stress of Arianism, but under the more insidious, because freer, play of the vague forces of Scholasticism, as it prevailed in the universities of Europe until St. Thomas purged it of all Averroistic infiltration, the innier life of the clergy and, indeed, faith itself were compromised. But none the less the movement in each case was character. ized by intellectual rather than by moral preferences. It began in a passion for an actually unattainable completeness of theological statement. Dialectical servitude rather than religious emancipation was the ideal it pursued. The prevailing interests were of that syllogistic sort described so remorselessly by Prudentius:

Fidem minutis dissecant ambagibus
Ut quisque linguâ est nequior;
Solvunt ligantque quæstionum vincula
Per syllogismos plectiles.

On the other hand, the interests aroused by the crisis known as the Reformation were of an entirely different order. Where these had been largely intellectual before, they were profoundly and unalterably pragmatical now; and this, too, in spite of the storm of controversy which the movement evoked and the overwhelming flood of statement and exposition on both sides which accompanied it. For the next three hundred years Catholicism was to be occupied with a form of self-justification which may be described as disciplinary and sacramental rather than intellectual. The inversion-or, should we say, reversion ?—is significant. As it will account, in great measure, for the extraordinary activity, the remarkable inward development that characterizes the Latin Christianity of this period; so will it serve, perhaps, to explain some day the long misunderstandings which such a process of self-realization necessarily engendered.

Even now, it is felt, we are once more drawing towards a term. The Northern and Teutonic peoples of the world, for whom conduct is more important than theory, and for whose return to religious unity true reformers like St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Philip Neri, and the wise Theatine Caraffa worked and prayed, are beginning to show signs of an interest in latter. day Catholicism which is as inspiring as it is difficult to justify on any purely rational or political grounds; while the Southern or semi-Latin races of Europe and America, in their turn, are apparently about to experience a similar change of heart. Already there are tokens of it for those who can read. The ultra-secularistic movement, for instance, with which these peoples have been largely identified for the past sixty or seventy years, if not yet arrested, is at least confined to more decorous channels; much of the old insensate rancor of their leaders has disappeared; and there is unmistakable evidence, in more than one quarter of the horizon, that the public opinion of the English-speaking communities of mankind may direct them towards the pursuit of ideals which, when accepted, may yet furnish Catholicism with a hundred social opportunities and outlets for its zeal, beside which the political prestige of the past will dwindle into insignificance.

* Apotheosis.

Men advert to these possibilities to-day and interpret them variously, according to their knowledge and their bent. But the really noteworthy thing about them all, as about the crises which bulk so large in the past history of Catholic thought and practice, is that out of every peril thus successfully encountered there seems inevitably to emerge a new, if somewhat elusive, note. It is a note, moreover, which serves appreciably to mod. ify the key of all subsequent teaching, even while it defies any analysis that would sharply differentiate it from what may be called the dominant accent of the past. No student of Catholic opinion would think of confusing the note of Alexandria with the note of Paris—to cite but one instance out of many, which will best typify Scholasticism in its most classic and perhaps its most effective phase; nor again would one be tempted to identify the sub-Tridentine note as found either in individual apologists like Stapleton or Holden or Bellarmine—to say nothing of influential schools like Ingolstadt, Louvain, or the Sorbonne—with the supposedly same note heard above the theological controversies of the past forty years.

Cardinal Franzelin was in his generation an admittedly fresh and inspiring thinker; his reading was both wide and profound; and his attitude towards contemporary thought singled him out as essentially a “modern" in the better and more orthodox sense of that now sinister word; yet, without going so far as to raise contentious or unprofitable debates on his relative importance in the roll of Catholic teachers, one may safely affirm that in following him over the intricately mapped field of dog. ma, one misses much that Suarez, or the two de Lugos, or the distractingly learned Petau would have found it pertinent to say. It is not precisely that the outlook of the great Jesuit school of divines, from whose ranks we have advisedly drawn these honorable contrasts, has narrowed or become enfeebled in any way; but rather that an altered mental environment has unconsciously suggested altered preoccupations.

If this instance, however, of the Austrian Cardinal be objected to as inconclusive, we may take the case of his English contemporary and admirer, Cardinal Newman. Here we have a man who, whatever we may think of his familiarity with the shibboleths of Neo-Scholasticism, was, at any rate, an original thinker who stirred profoundly many of the more reflective and searching spirits of his time. What is more, his supremacy still endures, and his influence gives every promise of widening as the interest in the problems he thought out for himself moves yearly down to broader levels in the world of religiously-affected men. His life, it is true, bristles with anomalies; and the achievements of his personality read perilously like “signs to be contradicted." What was said by an admirer of his preaching in the old Oxford days might be applied with equally telling effect to his later theological ventures, both as a Protestant and as a Catholic. He was great at the cost of every known rule expounded in the schools for the benefit of ordinary men. His excursions into history and philosophy were undertaken reluctantly and through the stress of occasion, quite as much to satisfy his own intellectual needs as in response to the troubled questionings of others. Though he left many who failed to understand him in his day under the ironical delusion that he was at best what Sir Thomas Browne would have called a student in the “parergies of divinity," subsequent events and “the sure future" to which he appealed, have lifted him to his rightful place among the religious thinkers of his century. Cautious, hesitating, tentative, rather than magisterial, in method and in manner, strongly individualist in outlook and in treatment, betraying the instinct of the pioneer rather than the academic assurance of the accredited guide along the pathways of seminary lore, he yet became, even before his death, the instructor of an

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