* * * * *
167. "I could never understand formerly what you meant about usury, and about its being wrong to take interest. I said, truly, then that I 'trusted you,' meaning I knew that in such matters you did not 'opine'—and that innumerable things were within your horizon which had no place within mine.
"But as I did not understand I could only watch and ponder. Gradually I came to see a little—as when I read current facts about India—about almost every country, and about our own trade, etc. Then (one of several circumstances that could be seen more closely) among my mother's kindred in the north, I watched the ruin of two lives. They began married life together, with good prospects and sufficient means, in a lovely little nest among the hills, beyond the Rochdale smoke. Soon this became too narrow. 'A splendid trade,' more mills, frequent changes into even finer dwellings, luxurious living, ostentation, extravagance, increasing year by year, all, as now appears, made possible by usury—borrowed capital. The wife was laid in her grave lately, and her friends are thankful. The husband, with ruin threatening his affairs, is in a worse, and living, grave of evil habits."
"These are some of the loopholes through which light has fallen upon your words, giving them a new meaning, and making me wonder how I could have missed seeing it from the first. Once alive to it, I recognize the evil on all sides, and how we are entangled by it; and though I am still puzzled at one or two points, I am very clear about the principle—that usury is a deadly thing,"
Yes; and deadly always with the vilest forms of destruction both to soul and body.
168. It happens strangely, my Lord, that although throughout the seven volumes of Fors Clavigera, I never have set down a sentence without chastising it first into terms which could be literally as well as in their widest bearing justified against all controversy, you could perhaps not have found in the whole book, had your Lordship read it for the purpose, any saying quite so literally and terrifically demonstrable as this which you have chanced to select for attack. For, in the first place, of all the calamities which in their apparently merciless infliction paralyzed the wavering faith of mediaeval Christendom, the "boil breaking forth into blains," in the black plagues of Florence and London, was the fatalest messenger of the fiends: and, in the second place, the broad result of the Missionary labors of the cities of Madrid, Paris, and London, for the salvation of the wild tribes of the New World, since the vaunted discovery of it, may be summed in the stem sentence—Death, by drunkenness and smallpox.
The beneficent influence of recent commercial enterprise in the communication of such divine grace, and divine blessing (not to speak of other more dreadful and shameful conditions of disease), may be studied to best advantage in the history of the two great French and English Companies, who have enjoyed the monopoly of clothing the nakedness of the Old World with coats of skins from the New.
The charter of the English one, obtained from the Crown in 1670, was in the language of modern Liberalism—" wonderfully liberal," comprising not only the grant of the exclusive trade, but also of full territorial possession, to all perpetuity, of the vast lands within the watershed of Hudson's Bay. The Company at once established some forts along the shores of the great inland sea from which it derived its name, and opened a very lucrative trade with the Indians, so that it never ceased paying rich dividends to the fortunate shareholders, until towards the close of the last century.
Up to this time, with the exception of the voyage of discovery which Herne (1770-71) made under its auspices to the mouth of the Coppermine River, it had done but little for the promotion of geographical discovery in its vast territory.
169. Meanwhile, the Canadian (French) fur traders had become so hateful to the Indians, that these savages formed a conspiracy for their total extirpation. Fortunately for the white men, the smallpox broke out about this time among the redskins, and swept them away as the fire consumes the parched grass of the prairies. Their unburied corpses were torn by the wolves and wild dogs, and the survivors were too weak and dispirited to be able to undertake anything against the foreign intruders. The Canadian fur traders now also saw the necessity of combining their efforts for their mutual benefit, instead of ruining each other by an insane competition; and consequently formed in 1783 a society which, under the name of the North-West Company of Canada, ruled over the whole continent from the Canadian lakes to the Rocky Mountains, and in 1806 it even crossed the barrier and established its forts on the northern tributaries of the Columbia river. To the north it likewise extended its operations, encroaching more and more upon the privileges of the Hudson's Bay Company, which, roused to energy, now also pushed on its posts further and further into the interior, and established, in 1812, a colony on the Red River to the south of Winnipeg Lake, thus driving, as it were, a sharp thorn into the side of its rival. But a power like the North-West Company, which had no less than 50 agents, 70 interpreters, and 1120 "voyageurs" in its pay, and whose chief managers used to appear at their annual meetings at Fort William, on the banks of Lake Superior, with all the pomp and pride of feudal barons, was not inclined to tolerate this encroachment; and thus, after many quarrels, a regular war broke out between the two parties, which, after two years' duration, led to the expulsion of the Red River colonists, and the murder of their governor Semple. This event took place in the year 1816, and is but one episode of the bloody feuds which continued to reign between the two rival Companies until 1821.
170. The dissension's of the fur traders had most deplorable consequences for the redskins; for both Companies, to swell the number of their adherents, lavishly distributed spirituous liquors—a temptation which no Indian can resist. The whole of the meeting-grounds of the Saskatchewan and Athabasca were but one scene of revelry and bloodshed. Already decimated by the smallpox, the Indians now became the victims of drunkenness and discord, and it was to be feared that if the war and its consequent demoralization continued, the most important tribes would soon be utterly swept away.
At length wisdom prevailed over passion, and the enemies came to a resolution which, if taken from the very beginning, would have saved them both a great deal of treasure and many crimes. Instead of continuing to swing the tomahawk, they now smoked the calumet, and amalgamated in 1821, under the name of "Hudson's Bay Company," and under the wing of the Charter.
The British Government, as a dowry to the impoverished couple, presented them with a license of exclusive trade throughout the whole of that territory which, under the name of the "Hudson's Bay and North-West territories," extends from Labrador to the Pacific, and from the Red River to the Polar Ocean.
171. Such, my Lord, have been the triumphs of the modern Evangel of Usury, Competition, and Private Enterprise, in a perfectly clear instance of their action, chosen I hope with sufficient candor, since "History," says Professor Hind, "does not furnish another example of an association of private individuals exerting a powerful influence over so large an extent of the earth's surface and administering their affairs with such consummate skill, and unwavering devotion to the original objects of their incorporation."
That original object being, of course, that poor naked America, having yet in a manner two coats, might be induced by these Christian merchants to give to him that had none?
In like manner, may any Christian householder, who has two houses or perchance two parks, ever be induced to give to him that hath none? My temper and my courtesy scarcely serve me, my Lord, to reply to your assertion of the "inevitableness" that, while half of Great Britain is laid out in hunting-grounds for sport more savage than the Indians, the poor of our cities must be swept into incestuous heaps; or into dens and caves which are only tombs disquieted, so changing the whiteness of Jewish sepulchers into the blackness of Christian ones, in which the hearts of the rich and the homes of the poor are alike as graves that appear not;—only their murmur, that sayeth "it is not enough," sounds deeper beneath us every hour; nay, the whole earth, and not only the cities of it, sends forth that ghastly cry; and her fruitful plains have become slime-pits, and her fair estuaries, gulfs of death; for us, the Mountain of the Lord has become only Golgotha, and the sound of the new song before the Throne is drowned in the rolling death-rattle of the nations, "Oh Christ; where is thy victory?"
These are thy glorious works, Mammon parent of Good,—and this the true debate, my Lord of Manchester, between the two Angels of your Church,—whether the "Dreamland" of its souls be now, or hereafter,—now, the firelight in the cave, or hereafter, the sunlight of Heaven.
172. How, my Lord, am I to receive, or reply to, the narrow concessions of your closing sentence? The Spirit of Truth was breathed even from the Athenian Acropolis, and the Law of Justice thundered even from the Cretan Sinai; but for us, He who said, "I am the Truth," said also, "I am the Way, and the Life;" and for us, He who reasoned of Righteousness, reasoned also of Temperance and Judgment to come. Is this the sincere milk of the Word, which takes the hope from the Person of Christ, and the fear from the charge of His apostle, and forbids to English heroism the perilous vision of Immortality? God be with you, my Lord, and exalt your teaching to that quality of Mercy which, distilling as the rain from Heaven—not strained as through channels from a sullen reservoir-may soften the hearts of your people to receive the New Commandment, that they Love one another. So, round the cathedral of your city, shall the merchant's law be just, and his weights true; the table of the money-changer not overthrown, and the bench of the money-lender unbroken.
And to as many as walk according to this rule, Peace shall be on them, and Mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
* * * * *
173. With the preceding letter must assuredly end—for the present, if not forever—my own notes on a subject of which my strength no longer serves me to endure the stress and sorrow; but I may possibly be able to collect, eventually, into more close form, the already manifold and sufficient references scattered through Fors Clavigera: and perhaps to reprint for the St. George's Guild the admirable compendium of British ecclesiastical and lay authority on the subject, collected by John Blaxton, preacher of God's Word at Osmington in Dorsetshire, printed by John Norton under the title of "The English Usurer," and sold by Francis Bowman, in Oxford, 1631. A still more precious record of the fierce struggle of usury into life among Christians, and of the resistance to it by Venice and her "Anthony," will be found in the dialogue "della Usura," of Messer Speron Sperone (Aldus, in Vinegia, MDXIII.), followed by the dialogue "del Cathaio," between "Portia, sola, e fanciulla, fame, e cibo, vita, e morte, di ciascuno che la conosce," and her lover Moresini, which is the source of all that is loveliest in the Merchant of Venice. Readers who seek more modern and more scientific instruction may consult the able abstract of the triumph of usury, drawn up by Dr. Andrew Dickson White, President of Cornell University ("The Warfare of Science," H. S. King & Co., 1877), in which the victory of the great modern scientific principle, that two and two make five, is traced exultingly to the final overthrow of St. Chrysostom, St. Jerome, St. Bernard, St. Thomas Aquinas, Luther, and Bossuet, by "the establishment of the Torlonia family in Rome." A better collection of the most crushing evidence cannot be found than this, furnished by an adversary; a less petulant and pompous, but more earnest voice from America, "Usury the Giant Sin of the Age," by Edward Palmer (Perth Amboys, 1865), should be read together with it. In the meantime, the substance of the teaching of the former Church of England, in the great sermon against usury of Bishop Jewell, may perhaps not uselessly occupy one additional page of the Contemporary Review:—
174. "Usury is a kind of lending of money, or corne, or oyle, or wine, or of any other thing, wherein, upon covenant and bargaine, we receive againe the whole principall which we delivered, and somewhat more, for the use and occupying of the same; as if I lend 100 pound, and for it covenant to receive 105 pound, or any other summe, greater then was the summe which I did lend: this is that which we call usury: such a kind of bargaining as no good man, or godly man ever used. Such a kind of bargaining as all men that ever feared God's judgments have alwaies abhorred and condemned. It is filthy gaines, and a worke of darkenesse, it is a monster in nature: the overthrow of mighty kingdoms, the destruction of flourishing States, the decay of wealthy cities, the plagues of the world, and the misery of the people: it is theft, it is the murthering of our brethren, its the curse of God, and the curse of the people. This is Usury. By these signes and tokens you may know it. For wheresoever it raigneth all those mischiefes ensue.
"Whence springeth usury? Soone shewed. Even thence whence theft, murder, adultery, the plagues, and destruction of the people doe spring. All these are the workes of the divell, and the workes of the flesh. Christ telleth the Pharisees, You are of your father the divell, and the lusts of your father you will doe. Even so may it truely be sayd to the usurer, Thou art of thy father the divell, and the lusts of thy father thou wilt doe, and therefore thou hast pleasure in his workes. The divell entered into the heart of Judas, and put in him this greedinesse, and covetousnesse of game, for which he was content to sell his master. Judas's heart was the shop, the divell was the foreman to worke in it. They that will be rich fall into tentation and snares, and into many foolish and noysome lusts, which drowne men in perdition and destruction. For the desire of money is the roote of all evil. And St. John saith, Whosoever committeth sinne is of the Divell, 1 Joh. 3-8. Thus we see that the divell is the planter, and the father of usury.
"What are the fruits of usury? A. 1. It dissolveth the knot and fellowship of mankind. 2. It hardeneth man's heart. 3. It maketh men unnaturall, and bereaveth them of charity, and love to their dearest friends. 4. It breedeth misery and provoketh the wrath of God from heaven. 5. It consumeth rich men, it eateth up the poore, it maketh bankrupts, and undoeth many householders. 6. The poore occupiers are driven to flee, their wives are left alone, their children are hopelesse, and driven to beg their bread, through the unmercifull dealing of the covetous usurer.
175. "He that is an usurer, wisheth that all others may lacke and come to him and borrow of him; that all others may lose, so that he may have gaine. Therefore our old forefathers so much abhorred this trade, that they thought an usurer unworthy to live in the company of Christian men. They suffered not an usurer to be witnesse in matters of Law. They suffer him not to make a Testament, and to bestow his goods by will. When an usurer dyed, they would not suffer him to be buried in places appointed for the buriall of Christians. So highly did they mislike this unmercifull spoyling and deceiving our brethren.
"But what speak I of the ancient Fathers of the Church? There was never any religion, nor sect, nor state, nor degree, nor profession of men, but they have disliked it. Philosophers, Greekes, Latins, lawyers, divines, Catholikes, heretics; all tongues and nations have ever thought an usurer as dangerous as a theefe. The very sense of nature proves it to be so. If the stones could speak they would say as much. But some will say all kindes of usury are not forbidden. There may be cases where usury may stand with reason and equity, and herein they say so much as by wit may be devised to paint out a foule and ugly idoll, and to shadow themselves in manifest and open wickednesse. Whatsoever God sayeth, yet this or this kind of usury, say they, which is done in this or this sort, is not forbidden. It proffiteth the Commonwealth, it relieveth great numbers, the poore should otherwise perish, none would lend them. By like good reason, there are some that defend theft and murder; they say, there may be some case where it is lawful to kill or to steale; for God willed the Hebrews to rob the AEgyptians, and Abraham to kill his owne sonne Isaac. In these cases the robbery and the killing of his sonne were lawfull. So say they. Even so by the like reason doe some of our countrymen maintayne concubines, curtizans, and brothel-houses, and stand in defence of open stewes. They are (say they) for the benefit of the country, they keepe men from more dangerous inconveniences; take them away, it will be worse. Although God say, there shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, neither shall there be a whorekeeper of the sonnes of Israel: yet these men say all manner of whoredom is not forbidden. In these and these cases it is not amisse to alow it."
"As Samuel sayd to Saul, so may we say to the usurer, Thou hast devised cases and colours to hide thy shame, but what regard hath God to thy cases? What careth He for thy reasons? the Lord would have more pleasure, if when thou heareth His voyce thou wouldest obey Him. For what is thy device against the counsell, and ordinance of God? What bold presumption is it for a mortall man to controule the commandments of immortall God? And to weigh his heavenly wisdome in the ballance of humane foolishnesse? When God sayth, Thou shalt not take usury, what creature of God art thou which canst take usury? When God maketh it unlawfull, what art thou, oh man, that sayst, it is lawfull? This is a token of a desperate mind. It is found true in thee, that Paul sayd, the love of money is the root of all ill. Thou art so given over unto the wicked Mammon, that thou carest not to doe the will of God."
Thus far, the theology of Old England. Let it close with the calm law, spoken four hundred years before Christ, [Greek: a me katethou, me anele].
[Footnote 124: Contemporary Review, February 1880.]
[Footnote 125: See below (p. 393, Sec. 236), in the eighth letter on the Lord's Prayer.—ED.]
[Footnote 126: In Proverbs xxviii. 8, "usury" is coupled with "unjust gain," and a pitiless spirit towards the poor, which shows in what sense the word is to be understood there, and in such other passages as Ps. xv. 5 and Ezek. xviii. 8, 9.]
[Footnote 127: See post, p. 394, Sec. 237.—ED.]
[Footnote 128: Speech of Mr. J. C. Hubbard, M.P. for London, reported in Standard of 26th July, 1879.]
[Footnote 129: See the Articles of Association of the East Surrey Hall, Museum, and Library Company. (Fors Clavigera, Letter lxx.)]
[Footnote 130: "The Polar World," p. 342, Longmans, 1874.]
"The dearest friend to me, the kindest man, The best conditioned and unwearied spirit, In doing courtesies; and one in whom The ancient Roman honor more appears, Than any that draws breath in Italy."
This is the Shakespearian description of that Anthony, whom the modern British public, with its new critical lights, calls a "sentimentalist and speculator!"—holding Shylock to be the real hero, and innocent victim of the drama.]
176. In the wise, practical, and affectionate sermon, given from St. Mary's pulpit last autumn to the youth of Oxford, by the good Bishop of Carlisle, his Lordship took occasion to warn his eagerly attentive audience, with deep earnestness, against the crime of debt; dwelling with powerful invective on the cruelty and selfishness with which, too often, the son wasted in his follies the fruits of his father's labor, or the means of his family's subsistence; and involved himself in embarrassments which, said the Bishop, "I have again and again known to cause the misery of all subsequent life."
The sin was charged, the appeal pressed, only on the preacher's undergraduate hearers. Beneath the gallery, the Heads of Houses sate, remorseless; nor from the pulpit was a single hint permitted that any measures could be rationally taken for the protection, no less than the warning, of the youth under their care. No such suggestion would have been received, if even understood, by any English congregation of this time;—a strange and perilous time, in which the greatest commercial people of the world have been brought to think Usury the most honorable and fruitful branch, or rather perennial stem, of commercial industry.
177. But whose the fault that English congregations are in this temper, and this ignorance? The saying of mine, which the author of this book quotes in the close of his introduction, was written by me with a meaning altogether opposite, and far more forcible, than that which it might seem to bear to a careless interpreter. In the present state of popular revolt against all conception and manner of authority, but more especially spiritual authority, the sentence reads as if it were written by an adversary of the Church,—a hater of its Prelacy,—an advocate of universal liberty of thought and license of crime: whereas the sentence is really written in the conviction (I might say knowledge, if I spoke without deference to the reader's incredulity) that the Pastoral Office must forever be the highest, for good or evil, in every Christian land; and that when it fails in vigilance, faith, or courage, the sheep must be scattered, and neither King nor law avail any more to protect them against the fury of their own passions, nor any human sagacity against the deception of their own hearts.
178. Since, however, these things are instantly so, and the Bishops of England have now with one accord consented to become merely the highly salaried vergers of her Cathedrals, taking care that the choristers do not play at leapfrog in the Churchyard, that the Precincts are elegantly iron-railed from the profane parts of the town, and that the doors of the building be duly locked, so that nobody may pray in it at improper times,—these things being so, may we not turn to the "every-man-his-own-Bishop" party, with its Bible Society, Missionary zeal, and right of infallible private interpretation, to ask at least for some small exposition to the inhabitants of their own country, of those Scriptures which they are so fain to put in the possession of others; and this the rather, because the popular familiar version of the New Testament among us, unwritten, seems to be now the exact contrary of that which we were once taught to be of Divine authority.
179. I place, side by side, the ancient and modern versions of the seven verses of the New Testament which were the beginning, and are indeed the heads, of all the teaching of Christ:—
Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for their's is the kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are the Rich in Flesh, for their's is the kingdom of Earth.
Blessed are they that are merry, and laugh the last.
Blessed are the proud, in that they have inherited the earth.
Blessed are they which hunger for unrighteousness, in that they shall divide its mammon.
Blessed are the merciless, for they shall obtain money.
Blessed are the foul in heart, for they shall see no God.
Blessed are the War-makers, for they shall be adored by the children of men.
180. Who are the true "Makers of War," the promoters and supports of it, I showed long since in the note to the brief sentence of "Unto this last." "It is entirely capitalists' (i.e., Usurers') wealth which supports unjust Wars." But to what extent the adoration of the Usurer, and the slavery consequent upon it, has perverted the soul or bound the hands of every man in Europe, I will let the reader hear, from authority he will less doubt than mine:—
"Financiers are the mischievous feudalism of the 19th century. A handful of men have invented distant, seductive loans, have introduced national debts in countries happily ignorant of them, have advanced money to unsophisticated Powers on ruinous terms, and then, by appealing to small investors all over the world, got rid of the bonds. Furthermore, with the difference between the advances and the sale of bonds, they caused a fall in the securities which they had issued, and, having sold at 80, they bought back at 10, taking advantage of the public panic. Again, with the money thus obtained, they bought up consciences, where consciences are marketable, and under the pretense of providing the country thus traded upon with new means of communication, they passed money into their own coffers. They have had pupils, imitators, and plagiarists; and at the present moment, under different names, the financiers rule the world, are a sore of society, and form one of the chief causes of modern crises.
"Unlike the Nile, wherever they pass they render the soil dry and barren. The treasures of the world flow into their cellars, and there remain. They spend one-tenth of their revenues; the remaining nine-tenths they hoard and divert from circulation. They distribute favors, and are great political leaders. They have not assumed the place of the old nobility, but have taken the latter into their service. Princes are their chamberlains, dukes open their doors, and marquises act as their equerries when they deign to ride.
"These new grandees canter on their splendid Arabs along Rotten Ron, the Bois de Boulogne, the Prospect, the Prater, or Unter den Linden. The shopkeepers, and all who save money, bow low to these men, who represent their savings, which they will never again see under any other form. Proof against sarcasms, sure of the respect of the Continental Press, protecting each other with a sort of freemasonry, the financiers dictate laws, determine the fate of nations, and render the cleverest political combinations abortive. They are everywhere received and listened to, and all the Cabinets feel their influence. Governments watch them with uneasiness, and even the Iron Chancellor has his gilded Egeria, who reports to him the wishes of this the sole modern Autocrat"—Letter from Paris Correspondent, "Times," 30th January, 1885.
* * * * *
181. But to this statement, I must add the one made to Sec. 149 (see note) of "Munera Pulveris," that if we could trace the innermost of all causes of modern war, they would be found, not in the avarice or ambition, but the idleness of the upper classes. "They have nothing to do but to teach the peasantry to kill each other"—while that the peasantry are thus teachable, is further again dependent on their not having been educated primarily in the common law of justice. See again "Munera Pulveris," Appendix I.: "Precisely according to the number of just men in a nation is their power of avoiding either intestine or foreign war."
I rejoice to see my old friend Mr. Sillar gathering finally together the evidence he has so industriously collected on the guilt of usury, and supporting it by the always impressive language of symbolical art; for indeed I had myself no idea, till I read the connected statement which these pictures illustrate, how steadily the system of money-lending had gained on the nation, and how fatally every hand and foot was now entangled by it. Yet in commending the study of this book to every virtuous and patriotic Englishman, I must firmly remind the reader, that all these sins and errors are only the branches from one root of bitterness—mortal Pride. For this we gather, for this we war, for this we die—here and hereafter; while all the while the Wisdom which is from above stands vainly teaching us the way to Earthly Riches and to Heavenly Peace, "What doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
BRANTWOOD, 7th March, 1885.
[Footnote 132: Introduction to a pamphlet entitled "Usury and the English Bishops," or more fully, "Usury, its pernicious effects on English agriculture and commerce: An allegory dedicated without permission to the Bishops of Manchester, Peterborough and Rochester" (London: A. Southey, 146, Fenchurch Street, 1885). By R. J. Sillar. (See Fors Clavigera, vol. v. Letter 56.)—ED.]
[Footnote 133: "Everything evil in Europe is primarily the fault of her Bishops."]
[Footnote 134: "I knew, in using it, perfectly well what you meant." (Note by Mr. Sillar.)]
[Footnote 135: "Cash," I should have said, in accuracy—not "wealth."]
[Footnote 136: Mr. Sillar's pamphlet consists of a collection of paragraphs, all condemnatory of usury, from the writings of the English bishops, from the sixteenth century down to the present time; and is illustrated by five emblematic woodcuts representing an oak tree (English commerce) gradually overgrown and destroyed by an ivy-plant (usury).—ED.]
* * * * *
NOTES ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF SHEEPFOLDS.
THE LORD'S PRAYER AND THE CHURCH.
(Letters and Epilogue, 1879-1881.)
THE NATURE AND AUTHORITY OF MIRACLE.
(Contemporary Review, March 1873.)
* * * * *
NOTES ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF SHEEPFOLDS.
PREFACE (CALLED "ADVERTISEMENT") TO THE FIRST EDITION.
Many persons will probably find fault with me for publishing opinions which are not new: but I shall bear this blame contentedly, believing that opinions on this subject could hardly be just if they were not 1800 years old. Others will blame me for making proposals which are altogether new: to whom I would answer, that things in these days seem not so far right but that they may be mended. And others will simply call the opinions false and the proposals foolish—to whose goodwill, if they take it in hand to contradict me, I must leave what I have written—having no purpose of being drawn, at present, into religious controversy. If, however, any should admit the truth, but regret the tone of what I have said, lean only pray them to consider how much less harm is done in the world by ungraceful boldness, than by untimely fear.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND (1851) EDITION.
Since the publication of these Notes, I have received many letters upon the affairs of the Church, from persons of nearly every denomination of Christians; for all these letters I am grateful, and in many of them I have found valuable information, or suggestion: but I have not leisure at present to follow out the subject farther; and no reason has been shown me for modifying or altering any part of the text as it stands. It is republished, therefore, without change or addition.
I must, however, especially thank one of my correspondents for sending me a pamphlet, called "Sectarianism, the Bane of Religion and the Church," which I would recommend, in the strongest terms, to the reading of all who regard the cause of Christ; and, for help in reading the Scriptures, I would name also the short and admirable arrangement of parallel passages relating to the offices of the clergy, called "The Testimony of Scripture concerning the Christian Ministry."
PREFACE TO THIRD (CALLED SECOND) EDITION.
I have only to add to this first preface, that the boldness of the pamphlet,—ungraceful enough, it must be admitted,—has done no one any harm, that I know of; but on the contrary, some definite good, as far as I can judge; and that I republish the whole now, letter for letter, as originally printed, believing it likely to be still serviceable, and, on the ground it takes for argument, (Scriptural authority,) incontrovertible as far as it reaches; though it amazes me to find on re-reading it, that, so late as 1851, I had only got the length of perceiving the schism between sects of Protestants to be criminal, and ridiculous, while I still supposed the schism between Protestants and Catholics to be virtuous and sublime.
The most valuable part of the whole is the analysis of governments, Sec.Sec. 213-15; the passages on Church discipline, Sec.Sec. 204-5, being also anticipatory of much that I have to say in Fors, where I hope to re-assert the substance of this pamphlet on wider grounds, and with more modesty.
3rd August, 1875.
[Footnote 137: This pamphlet was originally published in 1851, under the title of "Notes on the Construction of Sheepfolds," by John Ruskin, M.A., author of the "Seven Lamps of Architecture," etc. (Smith, Elder, & Co.). A second edition, with an additional preface, followed in the same year, after which the pamphlet remained out of print till 1875, when it was reprinted in a third, erroneously called a second, edition (George Allen, Sunnyside, Orpington, Kent).—ED.]
[Footnote 138: London: 1846. Nisbet & Co., Berners Street.]
[Footnote 139: London: 1847. T. K. Campbell, 1, Warwick Square.]
182. The following remarks were intended to form part of the appendix to an essay on Architecture: but it seemed to me, when I had put them into order, that they might be useful to persons who would not care to possess the work to which I proposed to attach them: I publish them, therefore, in a separate form; but I have not time to give them more consistency than they would have had in the subordinate position originally intended for them. I do not profess to teach Divinity, and I pray the reader to understand this, and to pardon the slightness and insufficiency of notes set down with no more intention of connected treatment of their subject than might regulate an accidental conversation. Some of them are simply copied from my private diary; others are detached statements of facts, which seem to me significative or valuable, without comment; all are written in haste, and in the intervals of occupation with an entirely different subject. It may be asked of me, whether I hold it right to speak thus hastily and insufficiently respecting the matter in question? Yes. I hold it right to speak hastily; not to think hastily. I have not thought hastily of these things; and, besides, the haste of speech is confessed, that the reader may think of me only as talking to him, and saying, as shortly and simply as I can, things which, if he esteem them foolish or idle, he is welcome to cast aside; but which, in very truth, I cannot help saying at this time.
183. The passages in the essay which required notes, described the repression of the political power of the Venetian Clergy by the Venetian Senate; and it became necessary for me—in supporting an assertion made in the course of the inquiry, that the idea of separation of Church and State was both vain and impious—to limit the sense in which it seemed to me that the word "Church" should be understood, and to note one or two consequences which would result from the acceptance of such limitation. This I may as well do in a separate paper, readable by any person interested in the subject; for it is high time that some definition of the word should be agreed upon. I do not mean a definition involving the doctrine of this or that division of Christians, but limiting, in a manner understood by all of them, the sense in which the word should thenceforward be used. There is grievous inconvenience in the present state of things. For instance, in a sermon lately published at Oxford, by an anti-Tractarian divine, I find this sentence,—"It is clearly within the province of the State to establish a national church, or external institution of certain forms of worship." Now suppose one were to take this interpretation of the word "Church," given by an Oxford divine, and substitute it for the simple word in some Bible texts, as, for instance, "Unto the angel of the external institution of certain forms of worship of Ephesus, write," etc. Or, "Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the external institution of certain forms of worship which is in his house,"—what awkward results we should have, here and there! Now I do not say it is possible for men to agree with each other in their religious opinions, but it is certainly possible for them to agree with each other upon their religious expressions; and when a word occurs in the Bible a hundred and fourteen times, it is surely not asking too much of contending divines to let it stand in the sense in which it there occurs; and when they want an expression of something for which it does not stand in the Bible, to use some other word. There is no compromise of religious opinion in this; it is simply proper respect for the Queen's English.
184. The word occurs in the New Testament, as I said, a hundred and fourteen times. In every one of those occurrences, it bears one and the same grand sense: that of a congregation or assembly of men. But it bears this sense under four different modifications, giving four separate meanings to the word. These are—
I. The entire Multitude of the Elect; otherwise called the Body of Christ; and sometimes the Bride, the Lamb's Wife; including the Faithful in all ages;—Adam, and the children of Adam yet unborn.
In this sense it is used in Ephesians v. 25, 27, 32; Colossians i. 18; and several other passages.
II. The entire multitude of professing believers in Christ, existing on earth at a given moment; including false brethren, wolves in sheep's clothing, goats and tares, as well as sheep and wheat, and other forms of bad fish with good in the net.
In this sense it is used in 1 Cor. x. 32, xv. 9; Galatians i. 13; 1 Tim. iii. 5, etc.
III. The multitude of professed believers, living in a certain city, place, or house. This is the most frequent sense in which the word occurs, as in Acts vii. 38, xiii. 1; 1 Cor. i. 2, xvi. 19, etc.
IV. Any assembly of men: as in Acts xix. 32, 41.
185. That in a hundred and twelve out of the hundred and fourteen texts, the word bears some one of these four meanings, is indisputable. But there are two texts in which, if the word had alone occurred, its meaning might have been doubtful. These are Matt. xvi. 18, and xviii. 17.
The absurdity of founding any doctrine upon the inexpressibly minute possibility that, in these two texts, the word might have been used with a different meaning from that which it bore in all the others, coupled with the assumption that the meaning was this or that, is self-evident: it is not so much a religious error as a philological solecism; unparalleled, so far as I know, in any other science but that of divinity.
Nor is it ever, I think, committed with open front by Protestants. No English divine, asked in a straightforward manner for a Scriptural definition of "the Church," would, I suppose, be bold enough to answer "the Clergy." Nor is there any harm in the common use of the word, so only that it be distinctly understood to be not the Scriptural one; and therefore to be unfit for substitution in a Scriptural text. There is no harm in a man's talking of his son's "going into the Church; "meaning that he is going to take orders: but there is much harm in his supposing this a Scriptural use of the word, and therefore, that when Christ said, "Tell it to the Church," He might possibly have meant, "Tell it to the Clergy."
186. It is time to put an end to the chance of such misunderstanding. Let it but be declared plainly by all men, when they begin to state their opinions on matters ecclesiastical, that they will use the word "Church" in one sense or the other;—that they will accept the sense in which it is used by the Apostles, or that they deny this sense, and propose a new definition of their own. We shall then know what we are about with them—we may perhaps grant them their new use of the term, and argue with them on that understanding; so only that they will not pretend to make use of Scriptural authority, while they refuse to employ Scriptural language. This, however, it is not my purpose to do at present. I desire only to address those who are willing to accept the Apostolic sense of the word Church; and with them, I would endeavor shortly to ascertain what consequences must follow from an acceptance of that Apostolic sense, and what must be our first and most necessary conclusions from the common language of Scripture respecting these following points:—
(1) The distinctive characters of the Church, (2) The Authority of the Church. (3) The Authority of the Clergy over the Church. (4) The Connection of the Church with the State.
187. These are four separate subjects of question; but we shall not have to put these questions in succession with each of the four Scriptural meanings of the word Church, for evidently its second and third meaning may be considered together, as merely expressing the general or particular conditions of the Visible Church, and the fourth signification is entirely independent of all questions of a religious kind. So that we shall only put the above inquiries successively respecting the Invisible and Visible Church; and as the two last—of authority of Clergy, and connection with State—can evidently only have reference to the Visible Church, we shall have, in all, these six questions to consider:—
(1) The distinctive characters of the Invisible Church. (2) The distinctive characters of the Visible Church. (3) The Authority of the Invisible Church. (4) The Authority of the Visible Church, (5) The Authority of Clergy over the Visible Church. (6) The Connection of the Visible Church with the State.
188. (1) What are the distinctive characters of the Invisible Church? That is to say, What is it which makes a person a member of this Church, and how is he to be known for such? Wide question—if we had to take cognizance of all that has been written respecting it, remarkable as it has been always for quantity rather than carefulness, and full of confusion between Visible and Invisible: even the Article of the Church of England being ambiguous in its first clause: "The Visible Church is a congregation of Faithful men." As if ever it had been possible, except for God, to see Faith, or to know a Faithful man by sight! And there is little else written on this question, without some such quick confusion of the Visible and Invisible Church;—needless and unaccountable confusion. For evidently, the Church which is composed of Faithful men is the one true, indivisible, and indiscernible Church, built on the foundation of Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone. It includes all who have ever fallen asleep in Christ, and all yet unborn, who are to be saved in Him: its Body is as yet imperfect; it will not be perfected till the last saved human spirit is gathered to its God.
A man becomes a member of this Church only by believing in Christ with all his heart; nor is he positively recognizable for a member of it, when he has become so, by any one but God, not even by himself. Nevertheless, there are certain signs by which Christ's sheep may be guessed at. Not by their being in any definite Fold—for many are lost sheep at times; but by their sheeplike behavior; and a great many are indeed sheep, which, on the far mountain side, in their peacefulness, we take for stones. To themselves, the best proof of their being Christ's sheep is to find themselves on Christ's shoulders; and, between them, there are certain sympathies (expressed in the Apostles' Creed by the term "communion of Saints"), by which they may in a sort recognize each other, and so become verily visible to each other for mutual comfort.
189. (2) The Limits of the Visible Church, or of the Church in the Second Scriptural Sense, are not so easy to define: they are awkward questions, these, of stake-nets. It has been ingeniously and plausibly endeavored to make Baptism a sign of admission into the Visible Church: but absurdly enough; for we know that half the baptized people in the world are very visible rogues, believing neither in God nor devil; and it is flat blasphemy to call these Visible Christians; we also know that the Holy Ghost was sometimes given before Baptism, and it would be absurdity to call a man, on whom the Holy Ghost had fallen, an Invisible Christian. The only rational distinction is that which practically, though not professedly, we always assume. If we hear a man profess himself a believer in God and in Christ, and detect him in no glaring and willful violation of God's law, we speak of him as a Christian; and, on the other hand, if we hear him or see him denying Christ, either in his words or conduct, we tacitly assume him not to be a Christian. A mawkish charity prevents us from outspeaking in this matter, and from earnestly endeavoring to discern who are Christians and who are not; and this I hold to be one of the chief sins of the Church in the present day; for thus wicked men are put to no shame; and better men are encouraged in their failings, or caused to hesitate in their virtues, by the example of those whom, in false charity, they choose to call Christians. Now, it being granted that it is impossible to know, determinedly, who are Christians indeed, that is no reason for utter negligence in separating the nominal, apparent, or possible Christian, from the professed Pagan or enemy of God. We spend much time in arguing about efficacy of sacraments and such other mysteries; but we do not act upon the very certain tests which are clear and visible. We know that Christ's people are not thieves—not liars—not busybodies—not dishonest—not avaricious—not wasteful—not cruel. Let us then get ourselves well clear of thieves—liars—wasteful people—avaricious people—cheating people—people who do not pay their debts. Let us assure them that they, at least, do not belong to the Visible Church; and having thus got that Church into decent shape and cohesion, it will be time to think of drawing the stake-nets closer.
I hold it for a law, palpable to common sense, and which nothing but the cowardice and faithlessness of the Church prevents it from putting in practice, that the conviction of any dishonorable conduct or willful crime, of any fraud, falsehood, cruelty, or violence, should be ground for the excommunication of any man:—for his publicly declared separation from the acknowledged body of the Visible Church: and that he should not be received again therein without public confession of his crime and declaration of his repentance. If this were vigorously enforced, we should soon have greater purity of life in the world, and fewer discussions about high and low churches. But before we can obtain any idea of the manner in which such law could be enforced, we have to consider the second respecting the Authority of the Church. Now authority is twofold: to declare doctrine, and to enforce discipline; and we have to inquire, therefore, in each kind,—
190. (3) What is the authority of the Invisible Church? Evidently, in matters of doctrine, all members of the Invisible Church must have been, and must ever be, at the time of their deaths, right in the points essential to Salvation. But, (A), we cannot tell who are members of the Invisible Church.
(B) We cannot collect evidence from death-beds in a clearly stated form.
(C) We can collect evidence, in any form, only from some one or two out of every sealed thousand of the Invisible Church. Elijah thought he was alone in Israel; and yet there were seven thousand invisible ones around him. Grant that we had Elijah's intelligence; and we could only calculate on collecting one seven-thousandth part of the evidence or opinions of the part of the Invisible Church living on earth at a given moment: that is to say, the seven-millionth or trillionth of its collective evidence. It is very clear, therefore, we cannot hope to get rid of the contradictory opinions, and keep the consistent ones, by a general equation. But, it has been said, these are no contradictory opinions; the Church is infallible. There was some talk about the infallibility of the Church, if I recollect right, in that letter of Mr. Bennett's to the Bishop of London. If any Church is infallible, it is assuredly the Invisible Church, or Body of Christ: and infallible in the main sense it must of course be by its definition. An Elect person must be saved, and therefore cannot eventually be deceived on essential points: so that Christ says of the deception of such, "If it were possible" implying it to be impossible. Therefore, as we said, if one could get rid of the variable opinions of the members of the Invisible Church, the constant opinions would assuredly be authoritative: but, for the three reasons above stated, we cannot get at their constant opinions: and as for the feelings and thoughts which they daily experience or express, the question of Infallibility -which is practical only in this bearing—is soon settled. Observe, St. Paul, and the rest of the Apostles, write nearly all their epistles to the Invisible Church:—those epistles are headed,—Romans, "To the beloved of God, called to be saints; "1 Corinthians, "To them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus; "2 Corinthians, "To the saints in all Achaia;" Ephesians, "To the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus; "Philippians, "To all the saints which are at Philippi; "Colossians, "To the saints and faithful brethren which are at Colosse;" 1 and 2 Thessalonians, "To the Church of the Thessalonians, which is in God the Father, and the Lord Jesus; "1 and 2 Timothy, "To his own son in the faith; "Titus, to the same; 1 Peter, "To the Strangers, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God;" 2 Peter, "To them that have obtained like precious faith with us; " 2 John, "To the Elect lady; " Jude, " To them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called."
191. There are thus fifteen epistles, expressly directed to the members of the Invisible Church. Philemon and Hebrews, and 1 and 3 John, are evidently also so written, though not so expressly inscribed. That of James, and that to the Galatians, are as evidently to the Visible Church: the one being general, and the other to persons "removed from Him that called them." Missing out, therefore, these two epistles, but including Christ's words to His disciples, we find in the Scriptural addresses to members of the Invisible Church, fourteen, if not more, direct injunctions "not to be deceived." So much for the "Infallibility of the Church."
Now, one could put up with Puseyism more patiently, if its fallacies arose merely from peculiar temperaments yielding to peculiar temptations. But its bold refusals to read plain English; its elaborate adjustments of tight bandages over its own eyes, as wholesome preparation for a walk among traps and pitfalls; its daring trustfulness in its own clairvoyance all the time, and declarations that every pit it falls into is a seventh heaven; and that it is pleasant and profitable to break its legs;—with all this it is difficult to have patience. One thinks of the highwayman with his eyes shut in the "Arabian Nights"; and wonders whether any kind of scourging would prevail upon the Anglican highwayman to open "first one and then the other."
192. (4) So much, then, I repeat, for the infallibility of the Invisible Church, and for its consequent authority. Now, if we want to ascertain what infallibility and authority there is in the Visible Church, we have to alloy the small wisdom and the light weight of Invisible Christians, with the large percentage of the false wisdom and contrary weight of Undetected Anti-Christians. Which alloy makes up the current coin of opinions in the Visible Church, having such value as we may choose—its nature being properly assayed—to attach to it.
There is, therefore, in matters of doctrine, no such thing as the Authority of the Church. We might as well talk of the authority of a morning cloud. There may be light in it, but the light is not of it; and it diminishes the light that it gets; and lets less of it through than it receives, Christ being its sun. Or, we might as well talk of the authority of a flock of sheep—for the Church is a body to be taught and fed, not to teach and feed: and of all sheep that are fed on the earth, Christ's Sheep are the most simple, (the children of this generation are wiser): always losing themselves; doing little else in this world but lose themselves;—never finding themselves; always found by Some One else; getting perpetually into sloughs, and snows, and bramble thickets, like to die there, but for their Shepherd, who is forever finding them and bearing them back, with torn fleeces and eyes full of fear.
193. This, then, being the No-Authority of the Church in matter of Doctrine, what Authority has it in matters of Discipline?
Much, every way. The sheep have natural and wholesome power (however far scattered they may be from their proper fold) of getting together in orderly knots; following each other on trodden sheepwalks, and holding their heads all one way when they see strange dogs coming; as well as of casting out of their company any whom they see reason to suspect of not being right sheep, and being among them for no good. All which things must be done as the time and place require, and by common consent. A path may be good at one time of day which is bad at another, or after a change of wind; and a position may be very good for sudden defense, which would be very stiff and awkward for feeding in. And common consent must often be of such and such a company on this or that hillside, in this or that particular danger,—not of all the sheep in the world: and the consent may either be literally common, and expressed in assembly, or it may be to appoint officers over the rest, with such and such trusts of the common authority, to be used for the common advantage. Conviction of crimes, and excommunication, for instance, could neither be effected except before, or by means of, officers of some appointed authority.
194. (5) This then brings us to our fifth question. What is the Authority of the Clergy over the Church?
The first clause of the question must evidently be,—Who are the Clergy? And it is not easy to answer this without begging the rest of the question.
For instance, I think I can hear certain people answering, that the Clergy are folk of three kinds;—Bishops, who overlook the Church; Priests, who sacrifice for the Church; Deacons, who minister to the Church: thus assuming in their answer, that the Church is to be sacrificed for, and that the people cannot overlook and minister to her at the same time;—which is going much too fast. I think, however, if we define the Clergy to be the "Spiritual Officers of the Church,"—meaning, by Officers, merely People in office,—we shall have a title safe enough and general enough to begin with, and corresponding too, pretty well, with St. Paul's general expression [Greek: proistamenoi], in Rom. xii. 8, and 1 Thess. v. 13.
Now, respecting these Spiritual Officers, or office-bearers, we have to inquire, first, What their Office or Authority is, or should be? secondly, Who gave, or should give, them that Authority? That is to say, first, What is, or should be, the nature of their office? and secondly, What the extent, or force, of their authority in it? for this last depends mainly on its derivation.
195. First, then, What should be the offices, and of what kind should be the authority, of the Clergy?
I have hitherto referred to the Bible for an answer to every question. I do so again; and, behold, the Bible gives me no answer. I defy you to answer me from the Bible. You can only guess, and dimly conjecture, what the offices of the Clergy were in the first century. You cannot show me a single command as to what they shall be. Strange, this; the Bible gives no answer to so apparently important a question! God surely would not have left His word without an answer to anything His children ought to ask. Surely it must be a ridiculous question—a question we ought never to have put, or thought of putting. Let us think of it again a little. To be sure,—It is a ridiculous question, and we should be ashamed of ourselves for having put it:—What should be the offices of the Clergy? That is to say, What are the possible spiritual necessities which at any time may arise in the Church, and by what means and men are they to be supplied?—evidently an infinite question. Different kinds of necessities must be met by different authorities, constituted as the necessities arise. Robinson Crusoe, in his island, wants no Bishop, and makes a thunderstorm do for an Evangelist. The University of Oxford would be ill off without its Bishop; but wants an Evangelist besides; and that forthwith. The authority which the Vaudois shepherds need is of Barnabas, the Son of Consolation; the authority which the city of London needs is of James, the Son of Thunder. Let us then alter the form of our question, and put it to the Bible thus: What are the necessities most likely to arise in the Church? and may they be best met by different men, or in great part by the same men acting in different capacities? and are the names attached to their offices of any consequence? Ah, the Bible answers now, and that loudly. The Church is built on the Foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the corner-stone. Well; we cannot have two foundations, so we can have no more Apostles nor Prophets:—then, as for the other needs of the Church in its edifying upon this foundation, there are all manner of things to be done daily;—rebukes to be given; comfort to be brought; Scripture to be explained; warning to be enforced; threatenings to be executed; charities to be administered; and the men who do these things are called, and call themselves, with absolute indifference, Deacons, Bishops, Elders, Evangelists, according to what they are doing at the time of speaking. St. Paul almost always calls himself a deacon, St. Peter calls himself an elder, 1 Peter v. 1; and Timothy, generally understood to be addressed as a bishop, is called a deacon in 1 Tim. iv. 6—forbidden to rebuke an elder, in v. 1, and exhorted to do the work of an evangelist, in 2 Tim. iv. 5. But there is one thing which, as officers, or as separate from the rest of the flock, they never call themselves,—which it would have been impossible, as so separate, they ever should have called themselves; that is—Priests.
196. It would have been just as possible for the Clergy of the early Church to call themselves Levites, as to call themselves (ex-officio) Priests. The whole function of Priesthood was, on Christmas morning, at once and forever gathered into His Person who was born at Bethlehem; and thenceforward, all who are united with Him, and who with Him make sacrifice of themselves; that is to say, all members of the Invisible Church become, at the instant of their conversion, Priests; and are so called in 1 Peter ii. 5, and Rev. i. 6, and xx. 6, where, observe, there is no possibility of limiting the expression to the Clergy; the conditions of Priesthood being simply having been loved by Christ, and washed in His blood. The blasphemous claim on the part of the Clergy of being more Priests than the godly laity—that is to say, of having a higher Holiness than the Holiness of being one with Christ,—is altogether a Romanist heresy, dragging after it, or having its origin in, the other heresies respecting the sacrificial power of the Church officer, and his repeating the oblation of Christ, and so having power to absolve from sin:—with all the other endless and miserable falsehoods of the Papal hierarchy; falsehoods for which, that there might be no shadow of excuse, it has been ordained by the Holy Spirit that no Christian minister shall once call himself a Priest from one end of the New Testament to the other, except together with his flock; and so far from the idea of any peculiar sanctification, belonging to the Clergy, ever entering the Apostles' minds, we actually find St. Paul defending himself against the possible imputation of inferiority: "If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's" (2 Cor. x. 7). As for the unhappy retention of the term Priest in our English Prayer-book, so long as it was understood to mean nothing but an upper order of Church officer, licensed to tell the congregation from the reading-desk, what (for the rest) they might, one would think, have known without being told,—that "God pardoneth all them that truly repent,"—there was little harm in it; but, now that this order of Clergy begins to presume upon a title which, if it mean anything at all, is simply short for Presbyter, and has no more to do with the word Hiereus than with the word Levite, it is time that some order should be taken both with the book and the Clergy. For instance, in that dangerous compound of halting poetry with hollow Divinity, called the "Lyra Apostolica," we find much versification on the sin of Korah and his company: with suggested parallel between the Christian and Levitical Churches, and threatening that there are "Judgment Fires, for high-voiced Korahs in their day." There are indeed such fires. But when Moses said, "a Prophet shall the Lord raise up unto you, like unto me," did he mean the writer who signs [Greek: g] in the "Lyra Apostolica"? The office of the Lawgiver and Priest is now forever gathered into One Mediator between God and man; and THEY are guilty of the sin of Korah who blasphemously would associate themselves in His Mediatorship.
197. As for the passages in the "Ordering of Priests" and "Visitation of the Sick" respecting Absolution, they are evidently pure Romanism, and might as well not be there, for any practical effect which they have on the consciences of the Laity; and had much better not be there, as regards their effect on the minds of the Clergy. It is indeed true that Christ promised absolving powers to His Apostles: He also promised to those who believed, that they should take up serpents; and if they drank any deadly thing, it should not hurt them. His words were fulfilled literally; but those who would extend their force to beyond the Apostolic times, must extend both promises or neither.
Although, however, the Protestant laity do not often admit the absolving power of their clergy, they are but too apt to yield, in some sort, to the impression of their greater sanctification; and from this instantly results the unhappy consequence that the sacred character of the Layman himself is forgotten, and his own Ministerial duty is neglected. Men not in office in the Church suppose themselves, on that ground, in a sort unholy; and that, therefore, they may sin with more excuse, and be idle or impious with less danger, than the Clergy: especially they consider themselves relieved from all ministerial function, and as permitted to devote their whole time and energy to the business of this world. No mistake can possibly be greater. Every member of the Church is equally bound to the service of the Head of the Church; and that service is pre-eminently the saving of souls. There is not a moment of a man's active life in which he may not be indirectly preaching; and throughout a great part of his life he ought to be directly preaching, and teaching both strangers and friends; his children, his servants, and all who in any way are put under him, being given to him as special objects of his ministration. So that the only difference between a Church officer and a lay member is either a wider degree of authority given to the former, as apparently a wiser and better man, or a special appointment to some office more easily discharged by one person than by many: as, for instance, the serving of tables by the deacons; the authority or appointment being, in either case, commonly signified by a marked separation from the rest of the Church, and the privilege or power of being maintained by the rest of the Church, without being forced to labor with his hands, or incumber himself with any temporal concerns.
198. Now, putting out of the question the serving of tables, and other such duties, respecting which there is no debate, we shall find the offices of the Clergy, whatever names we may choose to give to those who discharge them, falling mainly into two great heads:—Teaching; including doctrine, warning, and comfort: Discipline; including reproof and direct administration of punishment. Either of which functions would naturally become vested in single persons, to the exclusion of others, as a mere matter of convenience: whether those persons were wiser and better than others or not; and respecting each of which, and the authority required for its fitting discharge, a short inquiry must be separately made.
199. I. Teaching.—It appears natural and wise that certain men should be set apart from the rest of the Church that they may make Theology the study of their lives: and that they should be thereto instructed specially in the Hebrew and Greek tongues; and have entire leisure granted them for the study of the Scriptures, and for obtaining general knowledge of the grounds of Faith, and best modes of its defense against all heretics: and it seems evidently right, also, that with this Scholastic duty should be joined the Pastoral duty of constant visitation and exhortation to the people; for, clearly, the Bible, and the truths of Divinity in general, can only be understood rightly in their practical application; and clearly, also, a man spending his time constantly in spiritual ministrations, must be better able, on any given occasion, to deal powerfully with the human heart than one unpracticed in such matters. The unity of Knowledge and Love, both devoted altogether to the service of Christ and His Church, marks the true Christian Minister; who, I believe, whenever he has existed, has never failed to receive due and fitting reverence from all men,—of whatever character or opinion; and I believe that if all those who profess to be such were such indeed, there would never be question of their authority more.
200. But, whatever influence they may have over the Church, their authority never supersedes that of either the intellect or the conscience of the simplest of its lay members. They can assist those members in the search for truth, or comfort their over-worn and doubtful minds; they can even assure them that they are in the way of truth, or that pardon is within their reach: but they can neither manifest the truth, nor grant the pardon. Truth is to be discovered, and Pardon to be won, for every man by himself. This is evident from innumerable texts of Scripture, but chiefly from those which exhort every man to seek after Truth, and which connect knowing with doing. We are to seek after knowledge as silver, and search for her as for hid treasures; therefore, from every man she must be naturally hid, and the discovery of her is to be the reward only of personal search. The kingdom of God is as treasure hid in a field; and of those who profess to help us to seek for it, we are not to put confidence in those who say,—Here is the treasure, we have found it, and have it, and will give you some of it; but in those who say,—We think that is a good place to dig, and you will dig most easily in such and such a way.
201. Farther, it has been promised that if such earnest search be made, Truth shall be discovered: as much truth, that is, as is necessary for the person seeking. These, therefore, I hold, for two fundamental principles of religion,—that, without seeking, truth cannot be known at all; and that, by seeking, it may be discovered by the simplest. I say, without seeking it cannot be known at all. It can neither be declared from pulpits, nor set down in Articles, nor in anywise "prepared and sold" in packages, ready for use. Truth must be ground for every man by himself out of its husk, with such help as he can get, indeed, but not without stern labor of his own. In what science is knowledge to be had cheap? or truth to be told over a velvet cushion, in half an hour's talk every seventh day? Can you learn chemistry so?—zoology?—anatomy? and do you expect to penetrate the secret of all secrets, and to know that whose price is above rubies; and of which the depth saith,—It is not in me,—in so easy fashion? There are doubts in this matter which evil spirits darken with their wings, and that is true of all such doubts which we were told long ago—they can "be ended by action alone."
202. As surely as we live, this truth of truths can only so be discerned: to those who act on what they know, more shall be revealed; and thus, if any man will do His will, he shall know the doctrine whether it be of God. Any man,—not the man who has most means of knowing, who has the subtlest brains, or sits under the most orthodox preacher, or has his library fullest of most orthodox books,—but the man who strives to know, who takes God at His word, and sets himself to dig up the heavenly mystery, roots and all, before sunset, and the night come, when no man can work. Beside such a man, God stands in more and more visible presence as he toils, and teaches him that which no preacher can teach—no earthly authority gainsay. By such a man, the preacher must himself be judged.
203. Doubt you this? There is nothing more certain nor clear throughout the Bible: the Apostles themselves appeal constantly to their flocks, and actually claim judgment from them, as deserving it, and having a right to it, rather than discouraging it. But, first notice the way in which the discovery of truth is spoken of in the Old Testament: "Evil men understand not judgment; but they that seek the Lord understand all things," Proverbs xxviii. 5. God overthroweth, not merely the transgressor or the wicked, but even "the words of the transgressor," Proverbs xxii. 12, and "the counsel of the wicked," Job v. 13, xxi. 16; observe again, in Proverbs xxiv. 14, "My son, eat thou honey, because it is good—so shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul, when thou hast found it, there shall be a reward;" and again, "What man is he that feareth the Lord? him shall He teach in the way that He shall choose;" so Job xxxii. 8, and multitudes of places more; and then, with all these places, which express the definite and personal operation of the Spirit of God on every one of His people, compare the place in Isaiah, which speaks of the contrary of this human teaching: a passage which seems as if it had been written for this very day and hour. "Because their fear towards me is taught by the precept of men; therefore, behold, the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid" (xxix. 13,14). Then take the New Testament, and observe how St. Paul himself speaks of the Romans, even as hardly needing his epistle, but able to admonish one another: "Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind" (xv. 15). Anyone, we should have thought, might have done as much as this, and yet St. Paul increases the modesty of it as he goes on; for he claims the right of doing as much as this, only "because of the grace given to me of God, that I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles." Then compare 2 Cor. v. 11, where he appeals to the consciences of the people for the manifestation of his having done his duty; and observe in verse 21 of that, and I of the next chapter, the "pray" and "beseech," not "command"; and again in chapter vi. verse 4, "approving ourselves as the ministers of God." But the most remarkable passage of all is 2 Cor. iii. 1, whence it appears that the churches were actually in the habit of giving letters of recommendation to their ministers; and St. Paul dispenses with such letters, not by virtue of his Apostolic authority, but because the power of his preaching was enough manifested in the Corinthians themselves. And these passages are all the more forcible, because if in any of them St. Paul had claimed absolute authority over the Church as a teacher, it was no more than we should have expected him to claim, nor could his doing so have in anywise justified a successor in the same claim. But now that he has not claimed it,—who, following him, shall dare to claim it? And the consideration of the necessity of joining expressions of the most exemplary humility, which were to be the example of succeeding ministers, with such assertion of Divine authority as should secure acceptance for the epistle itself in the sacred canon, sufficiently accounts for the apparent inconsistencies which occur in 2 Thess. iii. 14, and other such texts.
204. So much, then, for the authority of the Clergy in matters of Doctrine. Next, what is their authority in matters of Discipline? It must evidently be very great, even if it were derived from the people alone, and merely vested in the clerical officers as the executors of their ecclesiastical judgments, and general overseers of all the Church. But granting, as we must presently, the minister to hold office directly from God, his authority of discipline becomes very great indeed; how great, it seems to me most difficult to determine, because I do not understand what St. Paul means by "delivering a man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh." Leaving this question, however, as much too hard for casual examination, it seems indisputable that the authority of the Ministers or court of Ministers should extend to the pronouncing a man Excommunicate for certain crimes against the Church, as well as for all crimes punishable by ordinary law. There ought, I think, to be an ecclesiastical code of laws; and a man ought to have jury trial, according to this code, before an ecclesiastical judge; in which, if he were found guilty, as of lying, or dishonesty, or cruelty, much more of any actually committed violent crime, he should be pronounced excommunicate; refused the Sacrament; and have his name written in some public place as an excommunicate person until he had publicly confessed his sin and besought pardon of God for it. The jury should always be of the laity, and no penalty should be enforced in an ecclesiastical court except this of excommunication.
205. This proposal may seem strange to many persons; but assuredly this, if not much more than this, is commanded in Scripture, first in the (much-abused) text, "Tell it unto the Church;" and most clearly in 1 Cor. v. 11-13; 2 Thess. iii. 6 and 14; 1 Tim. v. 8 and 20; and Titus iii. 10; from which passages we also know the two proper degrees of the penalty. For Christ says, Let him who refuses to hear the Church, "be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican," But Christ ministered to the heathen, and sat at meat with the publican; only always with declared or implied expression of their inferiority; here, therefore, is one degree of excommunication for persons who "offend" their brethren, committing some minor fault against them; and who, having been pronounced in error by the body of the Church, refuse to confess their fault or repair it; who are then to be no longer considered members of the Church; and their recovery to the body of it is to be sought exactly as it would be in the case of an heathen. But covetous persons, railers, extortioners, idolaters, and those guilty of other gross crimes, are to be entirely cut off from the company of the believers; and we are not so much as to eat with them. This last penalty, however, would require to be strictly guarded, that it might not be abused in the infliction of it, as it has been by the Romanists. We are not, indeed, to eat with them, but we may exercise all Christian charity towards them, and give them to eat, if we see them in hunger, as we ought to all our enemies; only we are to consider them distinctly as our enemies: that is to say, enemies of our Master, Christ; and servants of Satan.
206. As for the rank or name of the officers in whom the authorities, either of teaching or discipline, are to be vested, they are left undetermined by Scripture. I have heard it said by men who know their Bible far better than I, that careful examination may detect evidence of the existence of three orders of Clergy in the Church. This may be; but one thing is very clear, without any laborious examination, that "bishop" and "elder" sometimes mean the same thing; as, indisputably, in Titus i. 5 and 7, and I Peter v. I and 2, and that the office of the bishop or overseer was one of considerably less importance than it is with us. This is palpably evident from I Timothy iii., for what divine among us, writing of episcopal proprieties, would think of saying that bishops "must not be given to wine," must be "no strikers," and must not be "novices"? We are not in the habit of making bishops of novices in these days; and it would be much better that, like the early Church, we sometimes ran the risk of doing so; for the fact is we have not bishops enough—by some hundreds. The idea of overseership has been practically lost sight of, its fulfillment having gradually become physically impossible, for want of more bishops. The duty of a bishop is, without doubt, to be accessible to the humblest clergymen of his diocese, and to desire very earnestly that all of them should be in the habit of referring to him in all cases of difficulty; if they do not do this of their own accord, it is evidently his duty to visit them, live with them sometimes, and join in their ministrations to their flocks, so as to know exactly the capacities and habits of life of each; and if any of them complained of this or that difficulty with their congregations, the bishop should be ready to go down to help them, preach for them, write general epistles to their people, and so on: besides this, he should of course be watchful of their errors—ready to hear complaints from their congregations of inefficiency or aught else; besides having general superintendence of all the charitable institutions and schools in his diocese, and good knowledge of whatever was going on in theological matters, both all over the kingdom and on the Continent. This is the work of a right overseer; and I leave the reader to calculate how many additional bishops—and those hard-working men, too—we should need to have it done, even decently. Then our present bishops might all become archbishops with advantage, and have general authority over the rest.
207. As to the mode in which the officers of the Church should be elected or appointed, I do not feel it my business to say anything at present, nor much respecting the extent of their authority, either over each other or over the congregation, this being a most difficult question, the right solution of which evidently lies between two most dangerous extremes—insubordination and radicalism on one hand, and ecclesiastical tyranny and heresy on the other: of the two, insubordination is far the least to be dreaded—for this reason, that nearly all real Christians are more on the watch against their pride than their indolence, and would sooner obey their clergyman, if possible, than contend with him; while the very pride they suppose conquered often returns masked, and causes them to make a merit of their humility and their abstract obedience, however unreasonable: but they cannot so easily persuade themselves there is a merit in abstract disobedience.
208. Ecclesiastical tyranny has, for the most part, founded itself on the idea of Vicarianism, one of the most pestilent of the Romanist theories, and most plainly denounced in Scripture. Of this I have a word or two to say to the modern "Vicarian." All powers that be are unquestionably ordained of God; so that they that resist the Power, resist the ordinance of God. Therefore, say some in these offices, We, being ordained of God, and having our credentials, and being in the English Bible called ambassadors for God, do, in a sort, represent God. We are Vicars of Christ, and stand on earth in place of Christ. I have heard this said by Protestant clergymen.
209. Now the word ambassador has a peculiar ambiguity about it, owing to its use in modern political affairs; and these clergymen assume that the word, as used by St. Paul, means an Ambassador Plenipotentiary; representative of his King, and capable of acting for his King. What right have they to assume that St. Paul meant this? St. Paul never uses the word ambassador at all. He says, simply, "We are in embassage from Christ; and Christ beseeches you through us." Most true. And let it further be granted, that every word that the clergyman speaks is literally dictated to him by Christ; that he can make no mistake in delivering his message; and that, therefore, it is indeed Christ Himself who speaks to us the word of life through the messenger's lips. Does, therefore, the messenger represent Christ? Does the channel which conveys the waters of the Fountain represent the Fountain itself? Suppose, when we went to draw water at a cistern, that all at once the Leaden Spout should become animated, and open its mouth and say to us, See, I am Vicarious for the Fountain. Whatever respect you show to the Fountain, show some part of it to me. Should we not answer the Spout, and say, Spout, you were set there for our service, and may be taken away and thrown aside if anything goes wrong with you? But the Fountain will flow forever.
210. Observe, I do not deny a most solemn authority vested in every Christian messenger from God to men. I am prepared to grant this to the uttermost; and all that George Herbert says, in the end of "The Church-porch," I would enforce, at another time than this, to the uttermost. But the Authority is simply that of a King's Messenger; not of a King's Representative. There is a wide difference; all the difference between humble service and blasphemous usurpation.
Well, the congregation might ask, grant him a King's messenger in cases of doctrine,—in cases of discipline, an officer bearing the King's Commission. How far are we to obey him? How far is it lawful to dispute his commands?
For, in granting, above, that the Messenger always gave his message faithfully, I granted too much to my adversaries, in order that their argument might have all the weight it possibly could. The Messengers rarely deliver their message faithfully; and sometimes have declared, as from the King, messages of their own invention. How far are we, knowing them for King's messengers, to believe or obey them?
211. Suppose, for instance, in our English army, on the eve of some great battle, one of the colonels were to give his order to his regiment: "My men, tie your belts over your eyes, throw down your muskets, and follow me as steadily as you can, through this marsh, into the middle of the enemy's line," (this being precisely the order issued by our Puseyite Church officers). It might be questioned, in the real battle, whether it would be better that a regiment should show an example of insubordination, or be cut to pieces. But happily in the Church there is no such difficulty; for the King is always with His army: not only with His army, but at the right hand of every soldier of it. Therefore, if any of their colonels give them a strange command, all they have to do is to ask the King; and never yet any Christian asked guidance of his King, in any difficulty whatsoever, without mental reservation or secret resolution, but he had it forthwith. We conclude then, finally, that the authority of the Clergy is, in matters of discipline, large (being executive, first, of the written laws of God, and secondly, of those determined and agreed upon by the body of the Church), in matters of doctrine, dependent on their recommending themselves to every man's conscience, both as messengers of God, and as themselves men of God, perfect, and instructed to good works.
212. (6) The last subject which we had to investigate was, it will be remembered, what is usually called the connection of "Church and State." But, by our definition of the term Church, throughout the whole of Christendom, the Church (or society of professing Christians) is the State, and our subject is therefore, properly speaking, the connection of lay and clerical officers of the Church; that is to say, the degrees in which the civil and ecclesiastical governments ought to interfere with or influence each other.
It would of course be vain to attempt a formal inquiry into this intricate subject;—I have only a few detached points to notice respecting it.
213. There are three degrees or kinds of civil government. The first and lowest, executive merely; the government in this sense being simply the National Hand, and composed of individuals who administer the laws of the nation, and execute its established purposes.
The second kind of government is deliberative; but in its deliberation, representative only of the thoughts and will of the people or nation, and liable to be deposed the instant it ceases to express those thoughts and that will. This, whatever its form, whether centered in a king or in any number of men, is properly to be called Democratic. The third and highest kind of government is deliberative, not as representative of the people, but as chosen to take separate counsel for them, and having power committed to it, to enforce upon them whatever resolution it may adopt, whether consistent with their will or not. This government is properly to be called Monarchical, whatever its form.
214. I see that politicians and writers of history continually run into hopeless error, because they confuse the Form of a Government with its Nature. A Government may be nominally vested in an individual; and yet if that individual be in such fear of those beneath him, that he does nothing but what he supposes will be agreeable to them, the Government is Democratic; on the other hand, the Government may be vested in a deliberative assembly of a thousand men, all having equal authority, and all chosen from the lowest ranks of the people; and yet if that assembly act independently of the will of the people, and have no fear of them, and enforce its determinations upon them, the Government is Monarchical; that is to say, the Assembly, acting as One, has power over the Many, while in the case of the weak king, the Many have power over the One.
A Monarchical Government, acting for its own interest, instead of the people's, is a tyranny. I said the Executive Government was the hand of the nation:—the Republican Government is in like manner its tongue. The Monarchical Government is its head.
All true and right government is Monarchical, and of the head. What is its best form, is a totally different question; but unless it act for the people, and not as representative of the people, it is no government at all; and one of the grossest blockheadisms of the English in the present day, is their idea of sending men to Parliament to "represent their opinions." Whereas their only true business is to find out the wisest men among them, and send them to Parliament to represent their own opinions, and act upon them. Of all puppet-shows in the Satanic Carnival of the earth, the most contemptible puppet-show is a Parliament with a mob pulling the strings.
215. Now, of these three states of Government, it is clear that the merely executive can have no proper influence over ecclesiastical affairs. But of the other two, the first, being the voice of the people, or voice of the Church, must have such influence over the Clergy as is properly vested in the body of the Church. The second, which stands in the same relation to the people as a father does to his family, will have such farther influence over ecclesiastical matters, as a father has over the consciences of his adult children. No absolute authority, therefore, to enforce their attendance at any particular place of worship, or subscription to any particular Creed. But indisputable authority to procure for them such religious instruction as he deems fittest, and to recommend it to them by every means in his power; he not only has authority, but is under obligation to do this, as well as to establish such disciplines and forms of worship in his house as he deems most convenient for his family: with which they are indeed at liberty to refuse compliance, if such disciplines appear to them clearly opposed to the law of God; but not without most solemn conviction of their being so, nor without deep sorrow to be compelled to such a course.
216. But it may be said, the Government of a people never does stand to them in the relation of a father to his family. If it do not, it is no Government. However grossly it may fail in its duty, and however little it may be fitted for its place, if it be a Government at all, it has paternal office and relation to the people. I find it written on the one hand,—"Honor thy Father; "on the other,—"Honor the King:" on the one hand,—"Whoso smiteth his Father, shall be put to death;" on the other,—"They that resist shall receive to themselves damnation." Well, but, it may be farther argued, the Clergy are in a still more solemn sense the Fathers of the People, and the People are their beloved Sons; why should not, therefore, the Clergy have the power to govern the civil officers?
217. For two very clear reasons.
In all human institutions certain evils are granted, as of necessity; and, in organizing such institutions, we must allow for the consequences of such evils, and make arrangements such as may best keep them in check. Now, in both the civil and ecclesiastical governments there will of necessity be a certain number of bad men. The wicked civilian has comparatively little interest in overthrowing ecclesiastical authority; it is often a useful help to him, and presents in itself little which seems covetable. But the wicked ecclesiastical officer has much interest in overthrowing the civilian, and getting the political power into his own hands. As far as wicked men are concerned, therefore, it is better that the State should have power over the Clergy, than the Clergy over the State.
Secondly, supposing both the Civil and Ecclesiastical officers to be Christians; there is no fear that the civil officer should underrate the dignity or shorten the serviceableness of the minister; but there is considerable danger that the religious enthusiasm of the minister might diminish the serviceableness of the civilian. (The History of Religious Enthusiasm should be written by someone who had a life to give to its investigation; it is one of the most melancholy pages in human records, and one of the most necessary to be studied.) Therefore, as far as good men are concerned, it is better the State should have power over the Clergy than the Clergy over the State.
218. This we might, it seems to me, conclude by unassisted reason. But surely the whole question is, without any need of human reason, decided by the history of Israel. If ever a body of Clergy should have received independent authority, the Levitical Priesthood should; for they were indeed a Priesthood, and more holy than the rest of the nation. But Aaron is always subject to Moses. All solemn revelation is made to Moses, the civil magistrate, and he actually commands Aaron as to the fulfillment of his priestly office, and that in a necessity of life and death: "Go, and make an atonement for the people." Nor is anything more remarkable throughout the whole of the Jewish history than the perfect subjection of the Priestly to the Kingly Authority. Thus Solomon thrusts out Abiathar from being priest, I Kings ii. 27; and Jehoahaz administers the funds of the Lord's House, 2 Kings xii. 4, though that money was actually the Atonement Money, the Hansom for Souls (Exod. xxx. 12).
219. We have, however, also the beautiful instance of Samuel uniting in himself the offices of Priest, Prophet, and Judge; nor do I insist on any special manner of subjection of Clergy to civil officers, or vice versa; but only on the necessity of their perfect unity and influence upon each other in every Christian kingdom. Those who endeavor to effect the utter separation of ecclesiastical and civil officers, are striving, on the one hand, to expose the Clergy to the most grievous and most subtle of temptations from their own spiritual enthusiasm and spiritual pride; on the other, to deprive the civil officer of all sense of religious responsibility, and to introduce the fearful, godless, conscienceless, and soulless policy of the Radical and the (so-called) Socialist. Whereas, the ideal of all government is the perfect unity of the two bodies of officers, each supporting and correcting the other; the Clergy having due weight in all the national councils; the civil officers having a solemn reverence for God in all their acts; the Clergy hallowing all worldly policy by their influence; and the magistracy repressing all religious enthusiasm by their practical wisdom. To separate the two is to endeavor to separate the daily life of the nation from God, and to map out the dominion of the soul into two provinces—one of Atheism, the other of Enthusiasm. These, then, were the reasons which caused me to speak of the idea of separation of Church and State as Fatuity; for what Fatuity can be so great as the not having God in our thoughts; and, in any act or office of life, saying in our hearts, "There is no God"?
220. Much more I would fain say of these things, but not now: this only I must emphatically assert, in conclusion:—That the schism between the so-called Evangelical and High Church Parties in Britain, is enough to shake many men's faith in the truth or existence of Religion at all. It seems to me one of the most disgraceful scenes in Ecclesiastical history, that Protestantism should be paralyzed at its very heart by jealousies, based on little else than mere difference between high and low breeding. For the essential differences in the religious opinions of the two parties are sufficiently marked in two men whom we may take as the highest representatives of each—George Herbert and John Milton; and I do not think there would have been much difficulty in atoning those two, if one could have got them together. But the real difficulty, nowadays, lies in the sin and folly of both parties; in the superciliousness of the one, and the rudeness of the other. Evidently, however, the sin lies most at the High Church door, for the Evangelicals are much more ready to act with Churchmen than they with the Evangelicals; and I believe that this state of things cannot continue much longer; and that if the Church of England does not forthwith unite with herself the entire Evangelical body, both of England and Scotland, and take her stand with them against the Papacy, her hour has struck. She cannot any longer serve two masters; nor make courtesies alternately to Christ and Antichrist. That she has done this is visible enough by the state of Europe at this instant. Three centuries since Luther—three hundred years of Protestant knowledge—and the Papacy not yet overthrown! Christ's truth still restrained, in narrow dawn, to the white cliffs of England and white crests of the Alps;—the morning star paused in its course in heaven;—the sun and moon stayed, with Satan for their Joshua.